Every four years, we get a buildup like no other for the Olympic Summer Games. Each time the hype is bigger, the preparation grander, the media coverage more intense and the stakes higher.
It’s the world’s biggest competition where only the best can compete. It’s also about big money, star-making and landing a place in history.
This year, instead of just the traditional media covering the games – newpapers, magazines, radio and TV – thousands of spectators (there and watching from afar) are tweeting, posting and blogging about anything and everything Olympics. And every one of those is looking for a new angle to keep readers and listeners coming back.
There are even stories about all the information flowing.
The Associated Press wrote: “For Olympics organizers who pride themselves on putting on a carefully choreographed – obsessively controlled, some would say – 17-day show, the bursts of Twitter activity are like gamma rays escaping from a solar flare. They’re impossible to stop and spellbinding to behold.”
It’s new, and different and it’s a wonderful example of the world trying to keep up with youthful technology that makes privacy impossible while making the world a very small place.
The danger, of course, is that it’s easy to punch out a 140-character angry tweet against someone, saying things that would never be uttered when face-to-face or even said aloud among a group of strangers.
We have a soccer star (Hope Solo), lambasting a former-soccer-star-turned-soccer-announcer (Brandi Chastain) via Twitter for her coverage of a match. There was theL Swiss soccer player was banned from the games for racist tweets – he called the South Korean soccer team a “bunch of mongoloids” a day after the Swiss lost to them.
And we actually have headlines that say Michael Phelps failed when he didn’t medal in the 400 Individual Medley on Saturday. Come on, he got fourth place at the Olympics.
It’s time to slow down on the disconnected communication and remember the bigger picture: The greatest athletes in the world are showing us their best in London. Let’s just enjoy the show and cut out the nit-picking.