Social Olympics

I am a little sad that it’s all over, which is surprising as I didn’t think it would have a big impact on me, but I really enjoyed all the hysteria surrounding the Olympic Games.

Being one of the fortunate individuals who managed to get a ticket meant that I was able to get properly wrapped up in the competitive spirit. It may have taken me three hours to get there and I did get soaked on the way (you can always rely on the UK weather) but it was worth it to see the quirky and quintessentially British Olympic park. Granted, I didn’t see a single Team GB member as the tickets that I had were for the basketball (China vs. Russia and Spain vs. Australia) but this was enough to get me hooked – and to encourage me to sit on the computer for copious hours after in the vain attempt of getting athletic tickets.

But enough about me, this year the games were billed as the first ‘social media’ Olympics, so how did London 2012 measure up?

-Twitter estimates there were more than 50 million tweets about the Olympics, at a pace of 80,000 per minute after Jamaica’s Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 200-meter sprint – that sounds like a lot!

– Facebook saw the number of fans of Olympic athletes soar: American gymnast Gabby Douglas had 14,358 followers on July 27 and 540,174 less than two weeks later

– Jess Ennis saw her social audience increased by 4000% after her extraordinary hepthalon win, with 500,000 eagerly congratulating her on Twitter

– Four time gold medalist Ben Ainslie saw his popularity rocket by 252% after becoming Britain’s greatest ever sailor by taking the top spot in the men’s Finn. His fan base soared from 8,184 Twitter followers to 28,874

It is safe to say that we took gold in the social race, with Olympic events trending globally on a daily basis during the games. The funniest moments have to have been Boris getting stuck on a zip wire (ok, so he’s not a member of Team GB but he did create a great start to London 2012 and a YouTube storm), the discovery of the happiest volunteer, and when Bolt ran off with the baton after the men’s 4×4 relay.

Did you share your thoughts about London 2012 on Facebook or Twitter during the games? I certainly enjoyed providing my commentary on the #Olympics this summer. After all sport is carried out for social enjoyment!

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