Ever since I can remember, I have always looked forward to the Olympic games. The Summer Olympics are my favorite and I have been counting down the days to the opening ceremonies in London on July 27.
I remember watching the Magnificent 7, including my favorite gymnasts Dominique Monceau and Shannon Miller, take home the gold in Atlanta in ‘96. I’ll never forget watching the men’s 400m relay in Beijing. Jason Lezak swam the final leg and was almost a full body length behind before he even got in the water. When 25 meters remained, Lezak started to close the gap and made an amazing comeback, winning by 0.08 seconds, enabling Michael Phelps to collect his record setting 8 gold medals.
I love seeing these moments and am usually glued to the TV throughout the duration of the games. Over the years, I have started quite the collection of VHS tapes that contain the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as my favorite moments and certain events that I wanted to see, but was unable to due to school, work, and the conflict caused by time differences.
Since the last summer Olympics, VHS tapes have become obsolete, mobile phones have become smarter, and Facebook and Twitter have exploded. In Beijing in 2008, Twitter had around 6 million users and Facebook 100 million. Today, the figures have grown to 140 million for Twitter and 900 million for Facebook (source). As the date for what people are dubbing the ‘Socialympics’ approaches, I have put away my VCR and have started to build my social hub for all things involving the 2012 London Olympics.
More tweets, posts, videos, and photos are expected to be shared than any other sports event in history. To help keep everything in order, I have put together a list of my favorite social media pages that will allow me to create my own unique experience and participate in the games in real time:
- London 2012 and Olympics on Facebook: Both Facebook pages are great resources to find out what is going on in London on a daily basis. Their mission is to deliver the best possible Olympic and Paralympic Games experience for everyone involved, ensuring a real legacy and inspiring people to join in.
- London 2012 on Twitter: The official Olympics and Paralympics channel. Provides behind the scenes information and shows Twitter handles for each individual sport for the games.
- London 2012 and Official Olympics YouTube Channels: Get behind the scenes footage in the build up to the Games, hear from the athletes as they prepare, and see exclusive venue footage.
- Google+: Yep, there is even a Google+ page for the Olympics. If you are an avid Google+ user, it is nice to be able to keep up with the latest news, otherwise it is more of the same and less extensive than the information available on Facebook.
- Storify: Storify allows you to make stories using photos, tweets, videos, and anything online. This is a great place to go for a quick, visual view of what is going on in the Olympics.
- The Olympic Athletes Hub: The Olympics Athletes Hub gives you unprecedented access to the Olympic athletes. Each athlete has a profile that shows their tweets, fans, and events. A great feature on the site is the search function that enables quick access to who / what you are looking for.
- Explore London: This has been one of the most helpful guides for me so far. This is definitely a great one stop hub for everything you need and want to know about the Olympics. Facebook has set up this page in three different sections: pages for athletes, pages for teams, and pages for each sport. I really like how it is segmented so that you are able to search for what you are interested in and you are free to ‘Like’ away!
I remember watching the opening ceremonies in Beijing and as the US Olympic team was introduced, several athletes were glued to their phones. The popularity of smart phones has increased exponentially since then and the technology available has grown significantly in the last 4 years. The numerous mobile apps available for the games are an exciting milestone and will hopefully result in an engaging and interactive social experience.
- NBC Olympics Live Extra App: Free application gives you access to all live streams and full event replays for all 32 sports.
- Team USA
- Daily updates and keeps you informed about participating Olympians including bios, features, photos, and more. There is also an interactive cheer function that allows fans to send and receive messages directly with the athletes of Team USA.
- London 2012
- Join In App: Mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy, and share your Games experience.
- Live Results App: Includes results, live updates, calendar schedule, details of sports, medal tables, and athlete profiles.
Are you anxious for the games to start? I am getting really excited and I plan on following everything I can, including downloading a few apps to keep up-to-date on competitions and planning out my schedule of what to watch. I have also followed The Official Olympic and London 2012 accounts on Instagram. I even created my own Postano to help consolidate and keep track of all things London. You can check out my Postano at the bottom of the page and even create your own! Or, you can check out Postano’s Official Olympics Social Hub – this an amazing source for live content and you can even sort it by event! Olympic trials are still going on for a lot of events, but some of the main things I am looking forward to are:
- Men’s 100m and 200m Breaststroke: Brendan Hansen just qualified for the 100m on Tuesday and I am excited to see him compete against his rival from Japan, Kosuke Kitajima. Kitajima has bested him in both events in Greece and Beijing and I am hoping third time is the charm for Hansen.
- Men & Women’s Beach Volleyball: Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor will return to the Olympics to try to collect their third gold medal. They will face some tough competition in the women from China and Brazil, but I really enjoy watching these two play and think they have it in them to make it a hat-trick. I am also looking forward to watching defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser. Despite missing the final two beach volleyball Olympics qualifying events, they are assured of the second seed among the 24 men’s teams competing at the London Games.
- Ryan Lochte vs. Michael Phelps: When Lochte and Phelps have raced in the Olympic trials over the past few days it seems like they are the only two in the water. Their rivalry drives them to push one another and makes for some very close and exciting races. I am really looking forward to watching them compete in London in the 400IM and the 200M freestyle, where Phelps held off Lochte and took first place by five hundreths of a second in the trials. The 200IM is one of my favorite races and the two swimmers going to London to compete in this event will be determined Saturday night – I am keeping my fingers cross that Lochte and Phelps will repeat a one, two finish.
If you still aren’t pumped for the Olympics, check out the trailer for the 2012 games:
What events are you looking forward to the most? How will you keep up with the latest news and results? Twitter? Facebook? An app? Don’t forget to use the #London2012 hashtag and let us know in the comments below how you plan to follow the action!
We did a ‘light’ version of an Olympics Postano below, but you should check out the full Olympics social media microsite that Postano built themselves at olympics.postano.com