According to information sent from the Help A Reporter Out call for Olympic suggestions, Ronald & Co. started supporting the Olympic Family as early as 1968 when athletes in Grenoble, France, were homesick for burgers, fries and the like (the Illinois-based company reportedly answered the call by airlifting food to the Games).
My earliest McD & Games memories take me back to 1984 and commercials involving Sam The Olympic Eagle mascot and Ronald thick as thieves (and perhaps as thick as Grimace -- the purple and possible inspiration behind 1996 Olympic mascot, Izzy). And speaking of the 1996 Games, as a staff member in the Olympic Village my colleagues and I supped daily on McNuggets and sauce (action repeated in Sydney's Olympic Village during volunteer gig -- they had exotic curry and spice sauce for dipping down under - OY!).
In Beijing, I've visited one 24-hour Mickey D and did my best to order a happy meal ('smile meal' in Mandarin, from what I can tell) to receive a mascot Fu-Wa as the "prize" inside. Not sure whether I'll be back to collect all five mascots, but will visit the Olympic Green McDonald's pavilion opening (as work schedule permits) at which the likes of Carl Lewis and other Olympians are slated to attend.
We also scheduled our client, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, to share the stage at the Around The Rings/McDonald's Newsmaker Media Breakfast on August 13 (he will join VANOC to discuss the status of preparations for the 2010 Winter Games). If you're an Olympic nut like me, you need to be reading Around The Rings and the great daily content by Ed and Sheila Hula and their Atlanta-based (yet on the ground in China) team. Thanks to McD's for a great central location for their events!
Wondering whether Morgan Spurlock will attend.