As the 2012 Olympics event in London currently develops, reports on the ongoing events are posted live on social media networks especially Twitter. Those who seek updates on the latest results turn to Twitter to keep informed on the individual competitions. Because Twitter uses hashtags to categorize tweets according to topics and events, it is easy to get Twitter followers to keep track the outcome from various athletic matches in the Olympics.
Before the 2012 Olympics officially opened on July 27, 2012, announcements were focused on the ceremonies and general pre-assessments of the games. Now that the competitions are already transpiring, individual hashtags on each event have been put up. The number of followers and tweets on each event hashtag depends on the popularity of the respective games. It is common in every Olympic event that there are favorite key events and gymnastics and swimming competitions are among them.
On the first day of swimming competition itself, there were over one million tweets already and the figure is expected to go up to the last day of the event and even up to the time when medals will be awarded. These tweets however are collated all over the world, which means that every country has contributed to the total number of posts. From the charts published on the internet, it is apparent that United States Twitter users have posted the most updates in swimming events. This could be attributed to the fact that Michael Phelps, an American swimmer, figured as top contender in the last Olympics swimming events four years ago, hence most Americans are now all eyes on his performance in the 2012 competitions.
Next to swimming as favorite Olympics event is gymnastics. Men and women who vie for the medals in this event participate in various categories such as women’s vault, men’s vault, men’s horizontal bar, men and women’s all around tournament and the most popular category which is the free floor exercises. Another most watched event is track and field where European and American contenders usually come strongest.
With the days rolling by, the two-week 2012 Olympics in London will certainly enjoy more publicity through Twitter as medal count progresses among the top athletes. Currently, predictions on who shall dominate every event are already trending on the said social media network. Some people say these tweets are too early and preemptive of the actual results and they might influence judges’ decisions. However Olympics officials assure that no advance publicities on the results of the games will ever affect the decisions of the judges because there are technicalities to be followed.
Since Twitter often gets drawn into controversies with regard to baseless tweets from its users, such as Twitter follower rampage about NBC not showing a live coverage on the opening ceremony, the Olympics committee must have set strict guidelines on the judges and athletes. This could mean that they may have been disallowed to engage in social media interactions during the events. It can be considered a wise move, actually, and even if there is no such regulation set by the officials, every athlete and event judge must take it upon themselves to not mind media opinion on the events. As it should be, they must focus on the Olympic events while it is taking place to avoid unnecessary distractions.