Social media is a great way of communicating to large groups and varieties of people as well as spreading information. An excellent example of how social media is utilized in such ways is the Olympics. Throughout the 2014 Winter Olympics social media used multiple platforms to advertise and keep people updated on the Olympics. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook were some of the more popular ways that people followed the Winter Games. YouTube is full of videos with broadcasts, specific clips, and slide shows/pictures from the Olympics. These videos make it possible to see things that could have been missed and provide general overviews. Twitter also has various accounts that keep people updated as well as promote the players and the games. By following the Olympics on twitter that person is constantly aware of what is happening just by checking his/her news feed. Facebook has an entire page (and several other) dedicated to the Olympics where specific information about the Olympics is included. Information such as the dates of the Olympics, what rank a county is and so on can be found on this page. The goal of those who run these platforms is to get as many people involved in watching and following the Olympics as possible. They want to spread awareness and popularity of the Olympics. They also promote the athletes involved and attempt to create fans. The most important aspect of these social media platforms is how easy they make it for people to have access. There are an extremely high number of social media users. Events such as the Olympics are able to advertise so well through social media because it is simple to reach them. Most people do not want to go through a difficult process in order to keep up with the Olympics. I believe that social media is a big part of the Olympics. It is difficult to keep track of things with how busy we become but social media keeps it easy and is so popular it almost forces us be aware. Would the Olympics be as popular/well known if it wasn’t for social media?
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?
Who was the most tweeted and posted about athlete during the 2014 Sochi Olympics? Most of us would think the American hockey hero T.J. Oshie from his heroic game against the Russians. Maybe, one of the many athletes who took home a medal for the USA. None of them were as big or blew up social media as much as Shaun White the snowboarder did.
Shaun White was the first big controversal story of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. When he decided to drop out of the slopestyle snowboarding event because of a “wrist injury” that occurred during a training session. He told the media and his fans that he wanted to focus on the half-pipe event. An olympic event White has won the past two gold medals in. *No olympic Winter athlete has ever won three straight gold medals in one event*. White ended up placing fourth in the half-pipe and lost his chance at olympic history.
Instead White made history in a different way, Facebook history. White was the most mentioned/posted athlete during the olympics on Facebook. What does that truly say to us as a society? So many athletes with incredible background stories, the great games played, and records being broke during the olympics. We tend to enjoy to talk about the disappointment and agony of defeat. We are also a society that has become “what have you done lately” instead of looking at a person’s full career.
White now instead of embracing olympic history must embrace all the angry snowboarders for his decisions this past olympics. The snowboarders made their feelings very clear during the time of the announcement of dropping out of the slopestyle event. He must now face those fellow snowboarders in person and on Facebook and Twitter.
Lebanese Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun has come under fire by the Lebanese Minister for Sports and Youth recently after some racy images of her surfaced in the last couple of weeks. The images show the athlete naked on top of a snowy mountain wearing nothing but some underwear bottoms and some strategic covering.
The photoshoot in question actually took place three years ago and was used in an Austrian calendar where Jackie appeared along with some other athletes. Jackie took to her Facebook to clear the air, stating that the images that are currently surfacing were not actually used in the calendar and were behind the scenes photos that were not supposed to go public.
Unfortunately for Ms. Chamoun, they did.
Fortunately for her, however, the Internet stepped up to defend her, creating the hashtag #StripForJackie on Twitter and creating an “I Am Not Naked” Facebook page. Many people have posted photos of themselves in their birthday suits to show their support for Jackie.
Even some Lebanese brands posted photos to show their support of Jackie Chamoun. Almaza Beer proudly stripped down their bottle for the Olympic athlete.
Alrifai Roastery proudly displayed their nuts in a show of solidarity for the Lebanese athlete.
Jackie posted an apology to her Facebook page saying,
“I know that Lebanon is a conservative country and this is not the image that reflects our culture. I fully understand if you want to criticize this.”
Should Jackie Chamoun have had to apologize for the photos? Was a Facebook post the appropriate place to do it?