If you are anything like me, you were glued to your TV in early August, watching with excitement as athletes all over the world competed in the Olympics. This year, British Track and Field athlete Mo Farah is one of those competitors who wowed the world. He made Olympic history by winning two gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m races and the athlete says, “I won the second gold on Saturday night and it became a blur after that. It all went crazy. I was so over the moon that I felt like I’d never come down.”
Farah is known as the UK’s finest ever distance runner and the world has quickly fallen in love with such an inspiring athlete. Mo Farah Running Away From Things is a blog described as “a tribute to team GB’s double olympic gold medalist Mo Farah for being a true Olympic legend and inspiring a nation.” The site was bound to happen, I mean Farah’s expression as he won the 10,000m finals is evidence of an insanely excited and stunned man who worked insanely hard to have these dreams come true.
His expression, digitally captured at the perfect moment, has fans across the world creating funny, good-natured images of Farah, running away from things including a sea of brides, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the movie Ghostbusters, and all kinds of other inventive scenes. Any ideas are welcome as long as they are a friendly tribute to Farah’s Olympic success.
The less said about the quality of NBC’s Olympics coverage in the U.S., the better, but in terms of the quantity of live and recorded Olympics video streamed this year, the partnership between NBC and YouTube clearly worked out well. Even by YouTube’s standards, live streaming the Olympics for NBC was a pretty massive undertaking and the company just released new data about its Olympics coverage from earlier this month. At its peak, the service pushed out more than half a million livestreams at the same time. On NBCOlympics.com, YouTube says, viewers watched more than 159 million total streams and just over a third of these came from mobile devices and more than 50% were in HD.
In total, YouTube says, its users across the U.S. and 64 countries in Africa and Asia watched a total of 231 million video streams. The IOC’s YouTube Channel alone was responsible for 72 million of these and the “Team USA” U.S. Olympic Committee Channel registered more than 6.75 million views (though most of these views seem to have come from a few select videos and quite a few of the “Team USA” uploads currently have fewer than 1,000 views).
According to YouTube, the quality of the live video was also “better than ever before, with a 7X improvement in quality based on low buffering and high frame rates.” YouTube doesn’t say what exactly it is comparing this year’s numbers to, so it’s probably a good idea to take this number with a grain of salt..
With the London Olympics over, Michael Phelps is making his next big move: golf.
Fresh from ending his career with a record-breaking 22 medals, Phelps announced he would be teaming up with golf pro Hank Haney, the former swing coach for Tiger Woods.
Phelps will do a turn on Golf Channel’s ‘The Haney Project,” where Haney will tune up his golf game as he plays the world’s best golf courses.
“The Haney Project” has also featured Ray Romano, Charles Barkley and radio host Rush Limbaugh.
”I have traveled the world through swimming, but really haven’t had an opportunity to experience the world through my travels,” Phelps told the Associated Press. ”As I enter this next chapter of my life, I think I will be able to shift my competitiveness to anything I put my mind to and golf is one of the things I want to focus on. If I have a goal of dropping a certain amount of shots, or working on my short game or putting, those things are going to keep me motivated and fire me up and keep me excited.”
Haney says he has his work cut out for him.
”He wants to win his club championship,” Haney told AP. ‘It will take him a little while, but he should improve really fast. Michael has got such long arms. But it’s funny, because whenever anyone makes a comment that a guy has got a lot of potential, they’re always talking about one thing – he hits it a long way. The translation is he hits it everywhere.”
Haney said the eight-part series will begin production next month.
Follow me on Twitter @johnmclarkejr or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Olympics are just barely over, and you’re still probably nursing your sport-scorched eyeballs. Give your mind a break after all that TV. But in just four short years, we’ll be at it again. So how will we watch the Olympiad next time?
Visually, the London games didn’t change much at all from Beijing four years before, with the exception of 3D—still more a gimmick than a quantum leap (a hilariously small number of Brits cared to watch the BBC’s 3D broadcasts). But today, there’s some serious TV tech around the corner; the question is whether you’ll be able to pay for and feast your nerves upon it when the Rio games begin. Here are our best bets:
You’ll still be watching in regular ol’ HD
Although we’ve peeped 4k and 8k super ultra hi-def displays that cram the equivalent of 10 modern TVs into one, there’s a big jump between CES and your living room. Basically, don’t count on watching the Rio games in all those millions and millions of new pixels.
8k is out of the question entirely—you won’t even be able to buy a TV that supports it by then. 4k sets, however, will slowly trickle out over the next several years, available only to the mega-mega-rich that can afford to early adopt a TV that you can’t watch anything on. You see, content is the problem. And content is the only reason to own a 4k set—just like it’s only worth having a 1080p display if you can watch 1080p movies and shows. And given how few people will be able to pony up for 4k sets even by 2016, it doesn’t make sense for a lurching content monolith like NBC to upgrade all of its equipment and overhaul its entire broadcasting system to pipe 4k television into your house. The network doesn’t have the most progressive track record, after all—you know which Olympic games were the first to be broadcast in full HD? The last time around, in Beijing.
HD will look better than it ever has before
OLED. Unlike 4k, TV makers have concrete plans to bring the mega-vibrant new display technology into reality. Samsung plans to sell a 55-inch OLED set in South Korea later this year, and Sony’s teaming up with Panasonic to manufacture “affordable” OLED sets by 2014. These will almost certainly still be mega-unaffordable at first, but a couple years of lead time could make OLED a feasible purchase for you in time for the 2016 games. And in a city like Rio, you’re going to love all that extra popping color.
Streaming online will be fast as hell at home
Around the Beijing games, Verizon was teasing everyone with announcements for 100 MBit/sec download speeds, which seemed insane at the time. Four years later, that’s still insane, and the company’s not slowing down—300 MBit/sec service is the new hotness. It’s not available in most places yet, but in four years it’s safe to assume we’ll be using an Internet servicesignificantly faster than what we’re on now—gigabit, maybe?—which will make things like multiple 1080p YouTube streams of McKayla Maroney’s scowl possible on your MacBook Pro Air Touch and iPad 7.
One caveat? Superabundant bandwidth means a crush of people (and all their streaming boxes and tablets) all trying to watch the same stuff at once. NBC clearly underestimated the online demand this year; if it lowballs again in 2016, we could be looking at the same jitter and lag problems we faced this year due to NBC’s overloaded servers no matter how fast our broadband is.
And fast as hell on your phone
The plan, as sketched by the telecom powers that be, is to deploy “LTE Advanced” within the next year or two. These will be extremely limited trials to make sure the technology actually works before carriers sell plans and Apple plugs it into the next-next-next-next(-next?) iPhone. But by the time the tech is fully baked, you’re looking at 100 MBit/sec download speeds on your phone or tablet, anywhere. Anywhere. Well, anywhere with service—and that’s plenty of speed for near-instant tablet 1080p. Four years is plenty of time to make that a reality, although no promises you’ll be able to afford the data plan.
You might be watching on Apple HDTV
The only thing that’ll make us more certain that an Apple HDTV is in the works is actually sitting down in front of it. And four years is plenty of time for that to become a reality. All rumor-y signs point to a release far before that, meaning we’ll be using what’s sure to be the best TV interface in history. Siri, which will be your new remote, will work much better by then. Add that to a predictably gorgeous screen, and picture this: you talk to your TV to flip through your favorite events of the Rio games.
What’s most exciting though is that if Apple has its way with NBC—which historically, it does—you might be able to ditch your BS cable plan and stream the entire Olympiad through a dedicated NBC app, HBO Go style. This kind of beautiful streamlined ease could be the event that proves just how amazing an Apple HDTV could be.
You’ll watch in real-time (but still on NBC)
Ah, yes, here’s the rub—NBC has exclusive rights to the Olympics until 2020. So, yeah, that part will still suck, no matter how fast and vivid and pixel-packed our broadcasts will be. But hey, four years is plenty of time to realize you sucked and to fix it. And because Rio shares a time zone with the eastern seaboard, we won’t have to deal with those awfully aggravating tape delays.
The United States women’s basketball team pose with their gold medals after defeating France. — Christian Petersen, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Angel McCaughtry jumps on the back of coach Geno Auriemma after the U.S. women’s basketball team defeated France 86-50 to win the gold medal. — Phil Walter, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
The U.S. women celebrate winning their 5th straight gold medal in basketball. — Phil Walter, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Kobe Bryant in attendance during the women’s basketball gold medal game between USA and France. — Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE, Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports, Aug. 11, 2012
Fans show support for the U.S. prior to the gold medal women’s basketball game against France. — Christian Petersen, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
DeeDee Trotter and Sanya Richards-Ross celebrate after winning the gold in the women’s 4x400m relay final. — Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY, Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports, Aug. 11, 2012
Sanya Richards-Ross celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win gold in the women’s 4x400m relay final. — Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY, Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports, Aug. 11, 2012
Allyson Felix takes the baton from U.S. teammate DeeDee Trotter in the women’s 4x400m relay final. — DYLAN MARTINEZ, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay celebrates with fans in the stands after taking silver in the men’s 4x100m relay final. — Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY, Andrew P. Scott-USA TODAY Sports, Aug. 11, 2012
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater pose next to their new world record of 36.84 seconds after winning the men’s 4x100m relay final. — KAI PFAFFENBACH, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates after crossing the finish line on the anchor leg to set a world record in the men’s 4x100m relay final ahead of Ryan Bailey of the U.S. — LUCY NICHOLSON, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States to win gold and set a new world record of 36.84 during the Men’s 4 x 100m relay final. — Streeter Lecka, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
(Front to back) The Netherlands’ Churandy Martina, US’ Ryan Bailey, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, US’ Justin Gatlin, Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, US’ Tyson Gay, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson compete in the men’s 100m final. —MIGUEL MEDINA, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 5, 2012
U.S. diver David Boudia celebrates with his gold medal in men’s 10m platform final. — Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY, Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports, Aug. 11, 2012
Tom Daley is thrown into the pool by the British diving team after he won the bronze medal in the men’s 10m platform final. —MICHAEL DALDER, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
David Boudia of the United States celebrates with his coach Adam Soldati after winning the Men’s 10m Platform Diving Final. —Adam Pretty, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Nicholas McCrory of United States competes in the men’s 10m platform diving semifinal. — Adam Pretty, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Brazilian players celebrate winning their women’s gold medal volleyball match against the U.S. at Earls Court. — OLIVIA HARRIS, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Destinee Hooker of the U.S. celebrates a point against Brazil during their gold medal volleyball match at Earls Court. — IVAN ALVARADO, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Gold medalist Mohamed Farah of Britain poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 5000m. — Stu Forster, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Britain’s Mo Farah reacts as he wins the men’s 5000m final at Olympic Stadium. — LUCY NICHOLSON, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Norway’s Linn-Kristin Koren celebrates after defeating Montenegro in their women’s gold medal handball match at the Basketball Arena. — MARKO DJURICA, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
A supporter of Norway cheers with her baby during the women’s gold medal handball match against Montenegro at the Basketball Arena. — MARKO DJURICA, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Russia’s Mariya Savinova celebrates after winning the women’s 800m final. — OLIVIER MORIN, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Runners compete in the men’s 5000m final. — ADRIAN DENNIS, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago competes during the javelin throw final. — Alexander Hassenstein, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
South Korea’s Hwang Woojin loses control of his horse Shearwater Oscar during the Show Jumping event of the modern pentathlon. — JOHN MACDOUGALL, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Mexico’s players celebrate winning the gold medal after defeating Brazil in their men’s gold medal match at Wembley Stadium. —PAUL HANNA, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Mexico’s Oribe Peralta celebrates with teammates after he scored his team’s second goal in the gold medal soccer match against Brazil at Wembley Stadium. — LUIS ACOSTA, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Hector Herrera of Mexico (L) and Sandro of Brazil battle for the ball during the Men’s Football Final between Brazil and Mexico. —Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Turkey’s Ibrahim Bolukbasi is declared the winner after defeating Jake Herbert of the U.S. in their Men’s 84kg Freestyle repechage round 2 match. — MARWAN NAAMANI, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
A woman wears a hat with the Olympic rings before the athletics competition. — DAVID GRAY, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Maria Michta (USA) pours water on her head during the women’s 20km race walk during the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Mall. — Matt Kryger-USA TODAY, Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports, Aug. 11, 2012
Russia’s Sergey Kirdyapkin leads the pack as they walk past Buckingham Palace during the men’s 50km race walk. — MARTIN BUREAU, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Ukraine’s Alina Maksymenko performs her ribbon program during the individual all-around final of the rythmic gymnastics event. Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva won gold while her compatriot Daria Dmitrieva took silver and Belarus’ Liubou Charkashyna got bronze. — ANTONIN THUILLIER, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Russia’s Daria Dmitrieva competes using the hoop in their individual all-around gymnastics final match. — MIKE BLAKE, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
Spain’s Angela Pumariega Menendez, Sofia Toro Prieto Puga and Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez celebrate on the podium after winning gold in the Elliott 6m sailing class. — WILLIAM WEST, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Spain’s Angela Pumariega Menendez, Sofia Toro Prieto Puga and Tamara Echegoyen Dominguez leap into the water after winning gold in the women’s sailing Elliott 6m event. — WILLIAM WEST, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
Australia’s Olivia Price, Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty sail during the women’s Elliott 6m medal race. — PASCAL LAUENER, REUTERS, Aug. 11, 2012
A view of Wembley Stadium during the men’s soccer gold medal match between Brazil and Mexico. — Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESS, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA, Aug. 11, 2012
Czech Republic’s David Svoboda (R) and China’s Cao Zhongrong shoot at their targets in the men’s Modern Pentathlon. — JOHN MACDOUGALL, AFP/Getty Images, Aug. 11, 2012
The world is going to have to go sports cold turkey when the London Olympic Games come to an end this Sunday. The number of sports we have seen is simpy breathtaking. Yesterday the one that stood out for me was the BMX racing. Fast, furious, and dangerous.
1Athletes compete in the men’s canoe single (C1) 200m heat at the Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympic Games . DARREN WHITESIDE/REUTERS
2Russia’s Daria Dmitrieva competes using the ribbon in her individual all-around gymnastics qualification match at the Wembley Arena. MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS
3Argentina’s Miguel Antonio Correa reacts after competing in the men’s kayak double (K2) 200m semifinal at the Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympic Games. DARREN WHITESIDE/REUTERS
4Venezuela’s Ricardo Roberty Moreno bleeds during his fight with Guinea-Bissau’s Augusto Midana on the 74Kg on the Freestyle wrestling at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games. SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS
5China’s Zou Shiming fights Ireland’s Paddy Barnes during their Men’s Light Fly (49kg) semi-final boxing match at the London Olympic Games . DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS
6Russia’s Evgeniya Kanaeva competes using the ribbon in her individual all-around gymnastics qualification match at the Wembley Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games . MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS
7Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli prays after winning gold in the men’s 10km marathon swimming at Hyde Park during the London Olympic Games. DOMINIC EBENBICHLER/REUTERS
8Alex Meyer of the U.S. drinks as he competes in the men’s 10km marathon swimming at Hyde Park during the London Olympic Games. STEFAN WERMUTH/REUTERS
9Australia’s Janine Murray competes using the clubs in her individual all-around gymnastics qualification match during the London 2012 Olympic Games. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS
10Japan’s team are seen underwater as they perform in the synchronised swimming teams free routine final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre. MICHAEL DALDER/REUTERS
11Jordan Ernest Burroughs of U.S. fights with Canada’s Matthew Judah Gentry on the Men’s 74Kg Freestyle wrestling at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games. GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS
12Latvia’s Rihards Veide and Edzus Treimanis crash with France’s Quentin Caleyron and Connor Fields of the U.S. during the men’s BMX semi-final run during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park. PAUL HANNA/REUTERS
13Paige Mcpherson of the U.S. competes against Turkey’s Nur Tatar during their women’s -67kg quarterfinal taekwondo match at the London Olympic Games. DARREN STAPLES/REUTERS
14Spain’s team perform in the synchronised swimming teams free routine final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre. TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS
15Latvia’s Edzus Treimanis is seen with kinesio tape on his face during the men’s BMX semi-final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park. STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS
16Italy’s Clemente Russo celebrates after being declared the winner over Azerbajan’s Teymur Mammadov after their Men’s Heavy (91kg) semi-final boxing match at the London Olympic Games. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS
17Japan’s team are seen from underwater as they dive in to perform in the synchronised swimming teams free routine final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre. MICHAEL DALDER/REUTERS
18Latvia’s Maris Strombergs stand under the finish line after winning the men’s BMX event during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park . STEFANO RELLANDINI/REUTERS
19Cyclists compete in the men’s BMX final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park . PAUL HANNA/REUTERS
20Japan’s team are seen underwater as they perform in the synchronised swimming teams free routine final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre. TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS
21Spain’s Gasol fouls Russia’s Fridzon during their men’s basketball semifinal match at the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games. MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS
22Bulgaria’s Tervel Pulev reacts after losing to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in their men’s heavy (91kg) semi-final boxing match at the London Olympic Games. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS
23Gold medallist Latvia’s Maris Strombergs sings his national anthem at the men’s BMX victory ceremony during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park. PAUL HANNA/REUTERS
24Nevin reacts after being declared the winner over Estrada after their Men’s Bantam (56kg) semi-final boxing match at the London Olympic Games. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS
25Hungary’s Gergo Ivancsik reacts after his team was defeated by Sweden in their men’s semi-final match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games. ADREES LATIF/REUTERS
26Great Britain’s players celebrate winning at the women’s bronze medal hockey match at Riverbank Arena at London 2012 Olympic Games. CHRIS HELGREN/REUTERS
27Britain’s Adam Gemili reacts after his team was disqualified in the men’s 4x100m relay round 1 heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games. LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS
28Japan’s Shinji Takahira celebrates his team’s qualification to the final after the men’s 4x100m relay round 1 heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games . DYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS
29Jordan Ernest Burroughs of U.S. reacts after defeating Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi on the final of the Men’s 74Kg Freestyle wrestling at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games. SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS
30Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar celebrates as she crosses the finish line in first place in the women’s 5000m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games. LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS
31Brazil’s Rezende celebrates with his team mates winning the second set against Italy during their men’s semi-final volleyball match at Earls Court during the London 2012 Olympic Games . IVAN ALVARADO/REUTERS
32Russia’s Misha Aloian fights Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar during their Men’s Fly (52kg) semi-final boxing match at the London Olympic Games. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS
33Visitors cast their shadows as they stroll at the ExCel arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games in London. MURAD SEZER/REUTERS
34Jordan Ernest Burroughs of U.S. celebrates with fans after defeating Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi on the final of the Men’s 74Kg Freestyle wrestling at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games. GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS
35Carmelita Jeter of the U.S. reacts as she wins the women’s 4x100m relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games. DYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS
36Members of the U.S. team pose with their national flags after winning the women’s 4x100m relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games. KAI PFAFFENBACH/REUTERS
37Italy’s players celebrate after they defeated Serbia in their Men’s Semifinal water polo match during the London 2012 Olympic Games. LASZLO BALOGH/REUTERS
38Australia’s Matthew Mitcham performs his first dive during the men’s 10m platform preliminary round at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre . TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS
39Italy’s Felugo and Tempesti celebrate their team’s victory over Serbia in their Men’s Semifinal water polo match during the London 2012 Olympic Games. LASZLO BALOGH/REUTERS
40Morgan Uceny of the U.S. reacts after failing to finish the women’s 1500m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games. LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS
41France’s Renaud Lavillenie reacts as he competes in the men’s pole vault final at the London 2012 Olympic Games. MARK BLINCH/REUTERS
42France’s Renaud Lavillenie successfully clears 5.97m during the men’s pole vault final at the London 2012 Olympic Games . MARK BLINCH/REUTERS
43Argentina’s Delfino is guarded by Bryant of the U.S. during their men’s basketball semifinal match at the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games. SERGIO PEREZ/REUTERS
44Netherlands’ Lammers and van As celebrate winning against Argentina during their women’s gold medal hockey match at Riverbank Arena at London 2012 Olympic Games. DOMINIC EBENBICHLER/REUTERS
45Bahamas team celebrate after winning gold in the men’s 4x400m relay final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium. DAVID GRAY/REUTERS
46Netherlands’ team playrs throw flowers as they pose with their gold medals during the women’s hockey victory ceremony at the Riverbank Arena at the London 2012 Olympic Games. SIMON NEWMAN/REUTERS
47Azerbaijan’s Magomedrasul Medzhidov gives a thumbs down after Italy’s Roberto Cammarelle was declared the winner of their Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg) semi-final boxing match at the London Olympic Games . DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS
48Gold medallist Argentina’s Sebastian Eduardo Crismanich cries as his national anthem is played at the men’s -80kg taekwondo victory ceremony during the London Olympic Games at the ExCeL venue. DARREN STAPLES/REUTERS
We looked at how online media is covering the London 2012 Olympics. We gave our virtual gold medal to the New York Times, for its sleek design and muscular content. Today we review the major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. To continue the Olympics theme, we award each of the three a different colored medal. Which one gets the gold? Read on to find out…
This may surprise you. After all, most of the media coverage about Twitter in regard to the Olympics has been negative. The company’s partnership with the much maligned NBC didn’t help, but it was the banning of a reporter that really got Twitter in hot water. And it wouldn’t be a major sports event without at least one athlete posting an offensive tweet.
Nevertheless, Twitter came into its own over the course of the London Games as a way forathletes and fans alike to express themselves. The Twitter activity by and about Usain Bolt is a great example. The most popular athlete of this Olympics has actively tweeted to his 1.3 million followers throughout the Games.
Bolt has also attracted the most attention from tweeting fans. According to the official Twitter account, @usainbolt set “a new Olympic Games conversation record with over 80,000 TPM for his 200m victory.” TPM = Tweets Per Minute. That prompted one Twitter wag to reply: “@twitter Too bad the East Coast of the US won’t see it for another 5 hours. #NBCfail”. You can’t win ’em all…
How about the official accounts? They were active, although fairly vanilla. The official London 2012 Olympics Twitter account has 1.5 million followers and most of the tweets have been factual updates of results. The official Olympics organization account has 1.6 million followers and has posted a lot of photos.
Overall, while Twitter stumbled a couple of times in its biggest Olympics yet, what won us over was the vibrancy of the conversations on Twitter among Olympians and fans. It’s been more fun than most of what we’ve seen on Facebook, with the possible exception of Kobe Bryant’s Facebook Page…
Kobe’s Page is the most popular, helped by his enthusiastic and entertaining updates.
The official London 2012 Olympics Page has 1.5 million likes and has been updated frequently, with fun photos and an engaging style (“We think a World Record deserves a Like – how about you?”). The official Olympics organization Facebook Page looks a little dour by comparison. It has 3.6 million likes. While there has been no shortage of comments or likes on both Pages, and across the mammoth Facebook network in general, the real-time back and forth on Twitter has been more interesting.
Update: Evangelos Papathanassiou commented that Facebook’s role as a traffic hub for media, sponsors and others should be mentioned. Also Instagram, owned by Facebook, was well used (for example by Usain Bolt, as seen above). Thanks Evangelos for the great comment!
The Olympics organization and London Olympics both have official Pages on Google+, with 940,000 and 780,000 followers respectively. There’s also an Olympics hub on Google.co.uk, which features live results and doodles.
As for fan activity on Google+, it has been solid. For example, Usain Bolt is trending right now and there is a ton of content to consume if you so desire. But as always, Google+ can’t quite foot it with Twitter and Facebook. Few popular Olympians have an active Google+ Page. For once, Usain Bolt is nowhere to be seen.
There you have it, our medal winners in social media for the Olympics. Let us know whether you agree with our picks in the comments.
With the 2012 Olympic Games soon coming to a close, we thought it might be fun to share these blast from the past photos that were taken at the first modern Summer Olympics.We’ve come a long way since 1896 in technological advancements, civil liberties, and just about every aspect of life; the Olympic games are no exception. The first modern Olympics, known as Games of the I Olympiad were held in Athens, Greece from April 6th through 15th. As you can see the events were a total sausage fest since the French organizer, Pierre de Coubertin, believed the inclusion of women would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.”
Only fourteen nations (300 athletes total) participated and ten of them received medals. The US had the most “gold” medals (which were actually silver at the time) with olive branches, while the host nation of Greece took home the most overall medals and laurel branches. Eighty thousand people were in attendance at the Panathinaiko Stadium to watch Athletics, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and Wrestling. Other events included Swimming, Tennis, Shooting, Cycling, & Fencing; Rowing and Yachting were also scheduled, but cancelled due to poor weather conditions on the planned day of competition. There were no world records set because there was no selection process and any man who wanted to compete could step right up- some were even tourists who happened to be there. The marathon runners stopped at shops along the way to fuel themselves and the winner even had two glasses of wine. For more fun facts, check out the video below.
Video of the history of the 1986 Olympics.