How many Olympians are you following on Twitter? How many didyou start following since the beginning of the games? No sporting event canmake you feel more patriotism than the Olympics, and now with the advent ofTwitter and widespread use of social media, you can be closer than ever to theathletes and events happening throughout the host city. Without a doubt, theOlympics (summer or winter) are among my most favorite athletic competitions towatch.

While many were complaining about the TV delays and theability to search for the results before the event was broadcast, Twitter wasinviting everyone to see what was happening with their favorite athletesbetween events (See VerifiedOlympians). So through this new level of connectivity in our ever shrinkingworld, what have we witnessed from some of our most treasured American athletesthis go ’round?

·        @ApoloOhnoshared his ever infectious and magnetic positivity to stand tall and be proudof who you are and your accomplishments

·        @LouieVitoannounced the return of two-time Olympic gold medalist @Shaun_White to Twitter during thegames

·        A disappointed @JuliaMancuso posted and quicklyremoved comments following her first run on the giant slalom, fueling the fireof an alleged rivalry with life-long competitor @LindseyVonn

·        @JohnnyGWeirseemed homesick, while his luggage made an unfortunate detour through Chicagowithout him

·        @EvanLysacekToured an Olympic press junket after winning gold in the men’s skatingcompetition

In a time when traditional media is struggling with theconcept that every Twitter handle is a civilian reporter breaking the latestnews through social media and Twitpics, it’s encouraging to see how athletesare not only discussing the events around Vancouver, but also what the media isup to for interviews and the cross-promotion of both programming and theirpersonal publicity. 

This continues to build the strength, brand and interest incatching the hottest interviews and news from a variety of media sources. Toour benefit, we can only hope this continued cross-promotion and increasedconsumer demand will slow the effects of slimming media staffs and quell thenumber of updates from @themediaisdying

In the ever-changing media landscape, perhaps thishigh-point in the half-pipe will allow us as a community of consumers andprofessionals to truly evaluate the appropriate measurement and overall significancein how we utilize media and successfully plan for future innovations regardlessof economic impact.

We can only watch with high anxiety the evolution ofathlete/enthusiast interactive communications channels throughout the next fouryears. Congrats to all and tweet you in @Sochi2014OC.

— Meg Soule