Athletes Use of Social Media in the Olympics

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?





McDonald’s supporting 2014 Winter Games

Partnered with the Olympics, McDonald’s reaches millions of fans around the world with their campaign “Cheers To Sochi” this campaign was created so that supporters of the Olympics can personally send messages or “cheers” to their favorite athlete using the hashtag #CheersToSochi on twitter or by viewing Global chief brand officer of McDonald’s Corporation, Steve Easterbrook, stated “McDonald’s takes tremendous pride in our 38-year partnership of the Games, and we share in the International Olympic Committee’s passion for bringing the world together. This Olympic experience gives fans the ability to make personal connections with athletes in Sochi in a way they’ve never had before.” Current Olympic athletes support “CheersToSochi”. Patrick Kane US hockey player, Drew Doughty Canadian Hockey Player, and several other athletes encourage fans from all around the world to send #CheersToSochi as they watch the games.

McDonald’s acknowledges that activists target Olympic sponsors to voice their opinions regarding the Russian LGBT legislation. McDonald’s supports the tradition of the Olympics, all the hard working athletes who participate in the Olympics, and especially human rights. McDonald’s campaign “Cheers To Sochi” is discrimination free. McDonald’s believes that the Olympic Games should be available for everyone including spectators, officials, media and athletes.  The “Cheers to Sochi” campaign is just one way that McDonald’s will celebrate the Olympic winter games. McDonald’s strives to bring family and friends together and to do that a new playground will be donated to the city of Sochi. McDonald’s generous donations, programs, and “Cheers To Sochi” campaign truly expresses their partnership and commitment McDonald’s has with the Olympics.

Fans can visit to send “cheers” or messages to athletes and teams as they get ready to compete in the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

#CheersToSochi, Some People are Not “Lovin It”

There’s no doubt, we all know Russia’s views about the LGBT community, which has been clearly showcased for the 22 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This of course has spiked a heated issue within the LGBT community where many people have openly voiced boycotting the Olympics in its entirety.

But, it hasn’t stopped there. Major sponsors of the Olympics, such as McDonald’s have gotten the wrath from individuals all over. People think the corporations support Russia’s views because they have signed on to be sponsors. That is not the case! Inevitably the companies are sponsors to help their brand, marketing and revenue on an international scale…nothing more!

Focusing specifically on McDonald’s, the corporation launched #CheersSochi on Twitter for people to write their support for those competing in the Olympics. However, this idea to boost Olympians confidence has turned into a way for people to further show their outrage about McDonald’s being a sponsor of the Olympics. The hashtag was later removed and #CheersToSochi was then created for people to continue their “hate.”

McDonald’s quickly responded to peoples’ tweets and concerns on the corporations website by saying the company support human rights and believe that the Olympics should be open to everyone without discrimination. The company also supports all those competing and wanted to use Twitter to simply inspire the athletes.

That statement, however, hasn’t stopped people using #CheersToSochi to bash the company for sponsoring the Olympics, which is also known as “hashtag hijacking.” It’s clear that peoples’ goals for their tweets are to show their distaste for what Russia stands for, in hopes to shed light into the LGBT community by using the hashtag #CheersToSochi.

In my opinion, I think McDonald’s is not at fault for anything, in fact, the company has shown its support for equality and tried to help our fellow Americans in Sochi by creating the hashtag in the first place. After McDonald’s posted the statement about equality on their website, people should have understood what the company stands for and stopped tweeting their anger. Instead, support Team USA with the hashtag!

So, I leave you, the reader, with the question, do you think McDonald’s supports Russia’s views?

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images

No Cable? No Problem! Stay Tuned on Twitter

Like the majority of college students in the world, I am a little low on monetary funds and have had to make some tough financial choices throughout my four years. For instance, I now only allow myself to purchase things that are on sale, sometimes I even cut coupons! One of the more difficult choices I’ve made to save money was deciding to forgo cable. I know, I know, how does she do it you ask? Well, I accomplish this feat with a great deal of Netflix and a little bit of mooching off of my friends.  However, when it came to the winter Olympics, spending every day at a friend’s house monopolizing their TV was not an option.

Luckily, the Olympics took to social media and cable was no longer a necessity to stay up-to-date on the games!


@Sochi2014 is a twitter account created to constantly update followers on every aspect of the Winter Games. The account tweeted and posted pictures pertaining to every aspect of the Winter Games including:

  • the opening ceremony
  • the closing ceremony
  • the Sochi 2014 Bear
  • daily schedule
  • scores
  • standings
  • countdowns to events

And so much more!


Above is an example of a daily schedule @Sochi2014 posted for its followers. Its readability and accessibility made it convenient for anyone to view and download any time of day.

@Sochi2014 also utilized hashtags and Olympian’s usernames enabling its followers to view their favorite topics and stay current on their favorite athletes:


As well as their favorite teams:


We are all aware that social media and the internet in general, are becoming increasingly influential and necessary to our everyday lives. However, witnessing the reach and capability of social media as a communication outlet, specifically in regards to the Olympics, still ceases to amaze me.

Without cable, I have managed to stay tuned to every event and outcome of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. What are your views on using social media to stay current on the Olympic Games? Is it just as effective, if not more, than watching each event live?

Sochi Winter Olympics @OHT


@OHT is the twitter Handle for One Hour Translation, a professional translation service backed by 15,000 professional HUMAN translators! @OHT offered services for free surrounding the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The service proved to be a success. It was promoted by Mashable, SD Times, Fast Company and more. The Israeli app proved to be popular, ranking number one by the British Telegraph.

So what made @OHT so trendy during the winter Olympics? One Hour Translation offered free services to twitter users who were seeking to understand any phrase, sign, tweet, etc. that was in another language and it was simple to do and responses were fast. One Hour Translation released a statement that the services would be available for free during the winter Olympics. From athletes, reporters and visitors in Sochi, to fans at home anyone could tweet a phrase to @OHT followed by the language they would like it to be translated in to and receive a rapid response.


With the service open to everyone from start to finish of the Winter Olympics, Ofer Shoshan, CEO of One Hour Translation was seeking none other than success in marketing of his brand, and why should he?

With the Olympics being an international sporting event and a global economy severely lacking in communication skills and language translation @OHT was sure to make a social media statement by offering free services.

Over all I have to say that the One Hour Translation marketing platform during the Winter Olympics was a great idea for PR, and from what I can tell proved to be successful, at least by the British Telegraph.

Did you know about the convenient handle on twitter, @OHT?

Did you use the service or did you find another service to be more useful?

Twitter Abuse and Cyber Bullying Affects Olympians, Too

British speed skater Elise Christie became the target of mean, abusive, and even threatening messages on Twitter after the three-way crash she caused during the 500m short track final last Thursday. She deactivated her Twitter account the next day.


The abusive messages were reportedly coming from South Korean fans who were upset that her crash had involved Korean speed skater Park Seung-Hi, thereby ruining Seung-Hi’s chances for gold.

The Twitter abuse has really affected Christie’s mindset and her performance. Two days after the crash and the onset of the abuse, she was disqualified in the 1500m heats on a technicality. She still has the 1000m, her preferred event, but she admitted in an interview after the 1500m, “I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to the 1000m, but I’m struggling.”

Today, she did manage to qualify for the 1000m quarter-finals, despite admitting that she almost pulled out of the Olympics all together: “I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ but I would never pull out really because I always have that grit in me that keeps carrying on. … But I was feeling pretty low, the lowest I have felt in my career.”

Christie’s saving grace was the sudden influx of support from British fans as well as the speed-skating community as a whole, including the Koreans. Crashes are common in short-track speed skating, and the skaters all know this. Christie and Seung-Hi are on good terms, and Seung-Hi reportedly hugged her after the crash and told the media she did not blame her.

In response to this event, the British Olympic Association has called for more action on the part of social media service providers to protect users from abuse. Darryl Seibel, the BOA director of communications, says: “I do believe service providers must be a part of the solution and probably could do more to help keep these things from happening. … They provide the portal. They have full sight of what’s going on.”

Attacks like this happen to professional and famous athletes all the time, but they manage to handle it. But Olympians such as Christie, mostly unknown to the world, are hardly different from you or I. How would you handle thousands of mean, threatening tweets suddenly directed at you? Probably not very well. Christie’s perseverance in the face of this can be an inspiration to all cyber bullying victims.

And Shaun White places……… 4th?!



On Tuesday February 11th many Olympians, Americans, and anyone who knows about the Winter Olympics were in complete shock when their snowboarding king, Shaun White placed 4th on men’s half-pipe. This was the first time that Americans were completely shut out of the half-pipe since 1998 when the sport was introduced to the Olympics. 


White has two gold medals under his belt from the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, and everyone expected ‘the flying tomato’, the nickname he earned from his long red locks, to take home gold again but were shockingly disappointed by his performance.



White was in hopes to become the 4th athlete in Winter  Olympics history to win three consecutive gold medals, but his dreams were cut after finishing his runs with two falls in the first, and two slips in the second leaving him with a score of 35.00 on run 1, and 90.25 on the second.

 “Tonight was just not my time,” White said.

Even though he didn’t place, he still stays humble and has on-going support from his fans. He plans on going back home to reflect with his family, and is even going on tour with his band.

The 27 year-old states he thinks he’ll be back in the 2018 winter Olympics to compete and hopefully earn his 3rd gold medal.

So, why do you think Shaun White didn’t medal at Sochi? Should he have competed in the slopestyle event? Did he get too cocky in believing that he’d hit gold medal trifecta? Was he more focused on his tour dates?

I personally believe his haircut threw off his arrow dynamics which messed up his whole game.