USA! USA! USA!

I’m one of those unabashedly enthusiastic Olympics fans. IOClogo600

I am and always will be a sucker for that torch.

From the first time I saw it on television in 1972, I was in love.  What kid could help it, with Mark Spitz breaking 7 world records and Olga Korbut’s dramatic fall from the high bar. The news of terrorist actions in the Olympic village that our parents tried to shield us from. The pageantry and drama of it all imprinted itself on me.

In 1976, at summer camp, with our Dorothy Hamill haircuts, we begged and were given special permission to watch the gymnastics on the one TV they had at Camp Pine Valley. We squealed as only 10 year old girls can when Nadia scored a perfect 10.  In 1980 we watched a “miracle” as USA beat Russia in Hockey, even though we had never watched hockey in our lives.

Driving to work one day in the early ‘90s I had to pull the car over out of excitement as the radio went live with the announcement of the location for ‘96. I sat and cried with joy at the realization that I would finally get to go an Olympic event. That my hometown Atlanta would be hosting the games. That week was one of pure joy for me.  A dream come true. It’s an moment in time that is woven into the fabric of my life and marriage, never to be forgotten.

Four years ago Puddin watched the first games she will remember. With the rest of us, she helplessly fell in love with Michael Phelps.  If this year had not been what it has been, I think we would have at least tried to take her to London this summer to experience the wonder of it all. But that is not to be.

So we will watch from home this year and love every minute of it. I was  so excited last month to read about the Olympic Athletes’ Hub the IOC launch to bring the social media links for the participants into one place. I can’t wait to see how the connectivity of social media directly with the athletes changes the tone of the media around the games. I have high hopes it will bring us all closer to the amazing experience they all will have.

With 100 days left before the Games begin in London, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched an online athletes’ headquarters designed to serve as a social media platform enhancing the digital connection between fans and competitors.

The Olympic Athletes’ Hub aggregates the verified social media feeds of more than 1,000 current and former Olympians. It will post content directly from their Facebook and Twitter accounts and incorporate a gamification layer incentivizing fans to interact with the site. Users will be able to access exclusive training-tips videos and gain virtual and real-world prizes according to how many athletes they like and follow online. (From Mashable)

So what do you think? Is this a good thing? Or do you think the social media will be distraction for the athletes?  There is a a part of me that totally understands why two time gold medalist Rebecca Adlington has declared she will quit Twitter for the the games.  But there is also a part of me that wants to see someone tweeting that they are about to walk up the medal stands 🙂

 

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