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The 2014 Sochi-al Media Games

Matt Leonhardt - Feb 17th, 2014

Gone are the times when the Winter Olympics were in our backyard. Who will ever forget the historic events that took place in Vancouver, such as Alex Bilodeau winning Canada’s first gold on home soil, Joannie Rochette skating her way to a bronze medal days after tragically losing her mother, and of course – The Golden Goal. The 2010 Olympics brought us together as a nation and allowed us to show the world how great we really are (because we’re too polite to just simply brag).

But things are different now. Sochi has taken centre stage and anybody who cares enough to follow the games live (from this side of the world) is nocturnal. The time difference makes it easy to feel detached from the games, but you don’t have to feel that way. Thanks to a little thing called social media, fans around the globe can remain in the know regarding everything to do with their Olympic team. Whether you’re rooting for Canada, the United States, or just about anybody else, you can bet you’ll find something on social media that will keep you well informed on how things are transpiring across the pond. Or if it’s the athletes themselves that draw and inspire you, many of them have personalized Twitter and Instagram accounts that can offer more of a backstage view of Sochi and the Winter Games. There’s even an app that integrates Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook into one giant Olympic hub.

The countries participating in the games are well aware of the impact that they have on social media during these 17 days. Canada’s social slogan of #WeAreWinter has been generating great buzz around the Twitter world, along with many other popular hashtags. Between the glorious championship posts, the inspiring stories, and the spectacular views, Sochi is looking pretty great right now. Unless, that is, you take a look at the uber-popular #SochiProblems hashtag that is currently taking Twitter by storm.

Goalie TransportationNear the start of the games, a 20-year old college student from Toronto created an account by the name of @SochiProblems. His account now has 341K followers, and has inspired many imitators to join along for the ride. The accounts point out some of the… unfortunate circumstances, for lack of a better term, that the Olympians are facing in Russia.

For example, this sweet transportation service (free of charge!) for goalies. They also have no problem publicizing the excellent forecasting initially done by the committee. #SochiSelfie is another popular hashtag circulating right now as well (currently with over 15M impressions).

The Olympics are one of those rare events that draw the attention of the entire world. No matter where you happen to find yourself during these two weeks, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find somewhere to watch the games. However, if you’re geographical location makes it tough, all is not lost. The quickness in which highlight clips are posted to YouTube is just one aspect that has made the issue of time change much more bearable for fans. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are all doing their part too. So before you find yourself complaining about the time change, remember this: It’s 2014, not 1896. There are many ways to stay connected, and you can thank social media for most of them.

Matt Leonhardt is a recent graduate from the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. Sports Fanatic. Beer pong enthusiast. One of the few fun Gingers.

2 Responses to “The 2014 Sochi-al Media Games”

Chris Burdge

The 2010 Olympics is where my integration of social media (mostly Twitter) and live TV really took off. I had a blast communicating with people across town, across Canada and across the world about the games as they were happening, especially of course the hockey games. It was kind of nice back then because following the various hastags was still somewhat manageable. It’s totally out of control now.

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Chris Whiteley

I have spent the entire Olympics in the United States. The coverage in this country is quite limited, and any time the Olympics are being televised its an American dominated sport. I’m getting real tired of watching figure skating. I have received most of my Olympic coverage through the web/social.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to watch Canada play hockey via Twitter?

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