I love the Olympics.
This year, I was a complete fanatic. I watched until the wee hours every morning and because of the magic of social media, I saw a whole other side to the games.
I got to meet the athletes. I followed their stories and tweets.
Twitter and Facebook brought the London Olympics to me. My British relatives took a ton of pictures at different sporting events, so I experienced what it was like to be in the crowd. (One cousin was at the men’s tennis final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer – and I really can’t properly convey my jealousy.)
So I bantered with friends about what they were watching, talked about the opening and closing ceremonies, and gathered their general thoughts on certain sports. Facebook friend Karen, for example, was particularly vocal about synchronized swimming.
“I’m sure that synchronized swimming is full of athleticism, but it is difficult to tell through the weird lacquered hair, freaky costumes and bizarre facial expressions,” she said.
Then, on Aug. 9, I saw when the South African men’s 4X400-meter relay team suffered a huge blow during its heat. South Africa’s Ofentse Mogawane fell in the first leg of the race because another runner collided with him. The camera panned to Oscar Pistorius, the famed double-amputee track star. My heart broke. South Africa would now be out of the final.
I checked Twitter.
That’s when I saw that Pistorius retweeted this: IAAF says Oscar Pistorius and South Africa team advance to 4×400-meter relay Olympic final on appeal – @AP http://es.pn/MAPrdF.
In an instant, this crisis was over.
Here are some examples of the more creative social items I saw during Olympics:
- Favorite infographic: The London 2012 Socialympics from SocialTimes
- Favorite story on the different types of social media chatter surrounding the games: Social Olympics: Does The Gold Medal Go To Facebook, Twitter or Google+? by ReadWriteWeb
- Favorite cloud graphic: Infomous with Irish start-up NewsWhip created for The Guardian the London 2012: the social media Olympics – visualized
- Great bonus gallery on the Must-Follow Olympians on Twitter (below the interesting piece – The View From London – about the world’s first social games by Mashable)
- Great video: Social Media Connects London 2012 Athletes, Attendees by Mashable. (Bonus below the video: 12 Medal-Worthy Instagram Shots From the Olympics.)
- Interesting read: 5 Olympics Examples of Unique Digital Storytelling by Mediabistro
- Just because this video is cool: Ryan Seacrest talks about social media trends at the Olympics
Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. You can follow her @cpcube.