Introducing Our Newest Zine, Newest Shirt, and Newest Side Project
I like the word “Olympians” to describe Olympic athletes because it gives them an air of the divine and the mythological. Olympians. When you put it like that, they sound like the beings that Ovid was writing about, not somebody performing a biathlon, or heaving a heavy ball across a field.
In this sense, I don’t think there has ever been a more perfect Olympian than Wilma Rudolph. Everything about her story was mythological: the background, the setting in Rome, and of course the performance itself.
In the course of a decade, Wilma Rudolph went from wearing a leg brace due to childhood polio to sprinting into her place as one of the greatest of all time, and one of the earliest modern Olympic celebrities. The 1960 games in Rome were the first to be extensively televised in the United States. She swept through those games like a hurricane — a smiling, beloved hurricane. It’s easy to see why the world fell in love with her.
Our new zine tells the story of Wilma Rudolph’s mythological life. An Olympian if there ever was one.
The founding myth of Rome is that a pair abandoned brothers named Remus and Romulus were adopted by a nice she-wolf, who suckled them and raised them. (Their father was Mars, the God of War, but he was not around.) They grew up to be strong and ambitious, and had the idea to start a city among the seven hills that defined the nearby landscape. However, they soon started to quarrel over where precisely that city should be located. Remus preferred the Aventine Hill and Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill.
They decided to settle it like gentlemen, which is to say through augury. They asked the Gods for a sign, which came in the form of vultures. Remus saw six of these enchanted vultures, then Romulus saw twelve. Remus believed that because he had spotted his vultures first, he had won the contest. Romulus believed that because had spotted *more* vultures, he in fact was the winner.
Romulus set about building a wall to surround the Palatine Hill, where his new city would be located. Remus, enraged, jumped over this wall to confront his brother. Romulus promptly killed him. And this is why the city is called Rome and not Reme.
The image of the two brothers suckling at the wolf became one of Rome’s great symbols. (Rome is a city full of great symbols.) It was also the official logo at the 1960 Olympics in which Wilma Rudolph competed. There’s some irony to this, because while Romulus and Remus may not have been abandoned, only to grow into rivals, Wilma’s family situation was the opposite. The love and care of her parents — and her many siblings — are what allowed her to recover from her childhood injuries, learn to walk, and become a champion.
So we put all this on a shirt, which in my opinion looks very cool.
We’re excited to bring you physical objects made with great care — and we hope that you enjoy them, and remember to tell all your friends.
But enough about physical objects. Adam and I are also doing some old fashioned blogging. A while back (years), we bought the domain name baseball.rip. It was sort of a joke we had about how people kept saying baseball was dying. Anyway, in honor of the ongoing lockout, we decided to actually use the thing. We’re posting hand drawn notes and drawings every day on our very official Sports Stories stationary. Dig it.
Thanks for reading Sports Stories.