As Sochi prepared to host many olympics athletes from all over the world, they weren’t ready for the negative social media that they got right away. Many of the journalists who traveled to Sochi were disappointed with what they were arriving to. Several journalists tweeted that only 6 of the 9 hotels that were set aside for the journalists were ready for them and many didn’t have rooms finished or water to use. This lead to the creation of #SochiProplems and @SochiProblems on Twitter. Even before they arrived, one of the Olympic Committee members told journalists that the use of social media would result in them losing their credentials and those caught using social media would be banned from the winter games. This forced the Olympic Committee to clarify their stance and later said they encourage the use of social media. All this negativity wasn’t the way that Sochi wanted to start the Olympic games off with.
However, the athletes use of social media more than made up for the negativity that it started out with. I followed Ryan Miller, the Team USA goalie, throughout the Olympics and his use on his Twitter account. He posted many pictures throughout the Olympics, anything from getting ready to leave the US for Russia, to the new gear he got for the Olympics and his dog wearing his goalie mask. It was really entertaining to see his posts throughout the Olympics because it gave you a unique insight into what the USA Hockey team was doing on a daily basis as well as what he was doing. I really enjoyed seeing the different pictures that he posted because it made me feel like I was actually there for a moment through those pictures. Ultimately, this was his goal, to use Twitter to connect with friends, fans, and family who couldn’t make the trip and still make them all feel like they could share his experiences that he was having.
I really enjoyed how he used social media to connect to fans. I think athletes use of social media is great because it allows for there to be a more personal connections to fans like myself. The question I have is does athletes use of social media make you feel like you have a more personal connection with that athlete because of their pictures, etc?