On your marks…get set…TWEET! Within a few hours the Olympics will be upon us, and whether you’re a sports enthusiast like myself or just a casual fan you are sure to be caught up in the spectacle that is the Olympics. However, considering that this will be the first Olympic Games with a profound social network presence, I do have some apprehensions. For instance, will this ‘socially fuelled’ and twenty-four hour live coverage of the games help or hurt the most important thing – their ratings? We have already seen a number of athletes punished, banned from twitter and even taken off teams for misguided tweets or status updates. Greek’s famous triple jumper Paraskevi “Voula” Papachristou was the first “Twitter casualty” of the Olympics and she will not be the last. On the other hand, this social coverage may be just what the games need to highlight events and athletes that may otherwise go unnoticed. Seriously, how many people do you know would willingly watch Equestrian?
Controversies aside, there are certainly a plethora of stories and developments surrounding these games to keep social networks abuzz for a while. To save you the trouble I have already noted some of the most important (well to me at least) below.
- Will women outshine men? – In addition to being the first truly ‘social’ games, this year’s Olympics will be the first where female athletes outnumber males – one athlete will even be 8 months pregnant when she competes. Even more noteworthy is the news of Saudi Arabia finally allowing female athletes to compete. Welcome to the 21st centurySaudi Arabia!
- As if you didn’t already know US swimmer Michael Phelps will be attempting to become the most decorated athlete ‘ever’. With 16 medals to date, he only needs 3 to surpass Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina’s 18. Phelps will compete in 7 events giving him a good chance of besting the record. However he will have to compete with fellow US swimmer Ryan Lochte who is looking to make his mark at these games as well.
- Will Bolt strike twice? – My fellow West Indian, the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will be looking to repeat his outstanding performance from the Beijing games where he won both 100M and 200M events with world record times. It may not be so easy however as he was bested in the 100M by fellow countryman Yohan Blake at Jamaica’s Olympic trials just a few weeks ago. There are also a number of US sprinters, including Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, who are looking to make a comeback.
In many ways these games have a way of bringing people, families, and the world together – even if it’s just for a few weeks. Moreover, whether you will be enjoying them live in London, on television, or socially – we at C.R.Fletcher Associates hope that you do just that – enjoy!
Do you think that the huge social network presence will help or hurt the games? Also, do share with us which events and athletes you will be following.