Their problem? Social media.
Now that everyone can get instant access to scores and highlights from other news services and even the athletes themselves, people don't want to sit and watched pre-taped things anymore.
However, social media has also been a great boon for these Olympics, and I'll share with you a few of my favorites.
Two years ago I would have given some backhanded compliment to Twitter. But now I am seeing its appeal. While staying short and sweet, it allows people to communicate thousands of miles away from each other. It also is very easy to follow athletes, journalists, and official marketing for the Olympics.
One of my favorite Olympic Twitter accounts are the Rio 2016 account, which gives updates on team events and announces winners for big events as well as the lesser-known. They keep it pretty positive, so if anything negative is happening in Rio, they tend to ignore it.
Another favorite is journalist Bill Mallon (@bambam1729) who is a wealth of Olympic knowledge. If someone breaks a record or does something of importance, Mallon is quick to announce it. He also communicates with people who have questions about things. He's kind of a nicer version of Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo. (Well, if you had to field Star Wars questions all day, you'd be cranky, too.)
While I may not have many followers, I can still get my voice out there using hashtags, like #Rio2016 and #Olympics. If people look up these hashtags they can see millions of people reporting on the games, good and bad.
Athletes are fun to follow, too. While some stay quiet (like Michael Phelps) others keep on tweeting right through their events. Aly Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) has been posting fun Olympic stuff since she showed up in Rio, from the funny to the sweet. I loved when she wanted to knock a table over in the Olympic Village cafeteria just to meet Usain Bolt.
Twitter also gives lesser-known Olympic athletes their time to shine. When Michelle Carter won the first US women's shot put gold, I retweeted everything I saw about her, to show how important she is to the sport, and that track and field is more than the people running around the track.
I also love the Tokyo 2020 (@tokyo2020) account, which started all the way back in 2014! While events are happening in Rio, the account says that they're taking place, but also uses that space to show off designs and pictures of their facilities for the Olympics. Sometimes it feels like they are just showing off, considering Rio faced a lot of trouble finishing venues for these Olympics, and it looks like that won't be a problem in four years.
I didn't think that Snapchat would be any more than just viewing photos and videos from my family, but the tool has become a great way for people to catch highlights of events in Rio.
If you go over to the Stories tab, there is a special section that breaks down some of the Olympic events of which Snapchat has gathered photos and videos. You can place yourself in the stands with someone who was actually there, taking video of a major event like a swim or race. Sometimes you can get beautiful views of sunsets or Copacabana Beach. It has made me feel like I was there, and I enjoy the updates.
Leslie Jones (lesdogggg) has become a Snapchat sensation when she started becoming America's Superfan. Her coverage of her visit to Rio was a lot of fun, albeit a bit foulmouthed. But her enthusiasm (and her "Slay all day!" chant) was catchy and made me want to follow in her footsteps. (But with nicer language.)
Finally, the Rio 2016 Snapchat has featured two dudes, both who speak English but one who is also fluent in Portugese, walking around Rio de Janeiro and seeing tourist sites, National Houses, and sporting events.
A very important feature that NBC and other broadcasters must realize is that these social media sites and others are important to utilize. More stuff needs to be transmitted live, even when the Games are half a world away, and social media can help out with that. (And please start airing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies live with the rest of the world, please?!)
Let's move on to mini blurbs...
- Today's roundup:
- track and field
- men's open water swimming
- men's diving
- men's weightlifting
- men's field hockey (yes, that does exist)
- men's volleyball
- men's boxing
- women's beach volleyball
- During qualification for the women's 5000 meters, New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and the US' Abbey D'Agostino both got tripped up and fell in the middle of the race. Instead of just giving up or moving on without acknowledgement, the two women checked to see if each other was okay, and even though D'Agostino was injured, she insisted that they finish the race. They both did, and after submitting a protest, both were allowed to compete in the final. However, I was most encouraged to see their encouragement to each other, even though they weren't teammates.
- In women's discus, I can understand and even appreciate yells and grunts as the discus is released. I did it myself when I was in track and field, and I encourage my kids to do it when I coach. But does screaming really have the same effect? Several of the women were screaming in such a high pitch that it wouldn't have assisted them from the diaphragm at all, like a grunt would. Just curious if it really does work.
- I noticed on the track that Nike sponsors several countries in these Olympics. How do I know? Not because of the Nike swoosh, but because their uniform designs are the same! The US's is the same as Canada's is the same as Estonia's is the same as Ethiopia's is the same as Kenya's. Worst of all, the color schemes of the US and Estonia are almost exactly the same! Couldn't the US look for something a bit more unique? I noticed the nice designs on the uniform of Puerto Rico, and the Ecuador uniform was simple but bright.
- Speaking of Ecuador, Angela Tenorio ran in the 200m semifinal tonight with a lovely headwrap. She didn't advance, but I don't think it was because of the headwrap.
- I will be sad that gymnastics is done. It seemed like the US men were always out of it and the US women were in the thick of it. However, today Danell Leyva secured two silver medals in parallel and high bars, so that was added to Alex Naddour's bronze a few nights ago. I think I was most happy with the Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev finally getting a gold medal in parallel bars, which makes up for the gold he lost in the all-around.
- Open water swimming is nuts. That is all.
- The diving pool looked a lot better tonight as I watched men's 3m springboard.
- I got to watch the men's triple jump final in its entirety today, which was great. That's a good event to watch from beginning to end. I didn't stream the solo coverage of men's high jump today, but the OBS stream of the entire track and field evening gave good coverage of it so I felt like I didn't miss much.
- Finally, the OBS announcer for track and field didn't mince words when he said how slowly the women's 1500m run was going. I was all smiles for each one of his negative comments. A few of my favorites included:
- "slightly faster than a walk"
- "a snail's pace"
- and my favorite... "farcical" pace.
Hope that put a smile on your face. Enjoy your day and I'll catch you later!