The 2014 Sochi Olympics: The Viral Games

By Kimberly Premo, Account Coordinator at LCI

As very well put by USA Today, “If London was the Twitter Olympics, call Sochi the Viral Games.” Never before has the Internet – and social media in particular – been leveraged for the Olympics as it has been for the Sochi games.

The London 2012 Olympic games were the most followed sporting event of all time, primarily due to social media. Since that time just two short years ago, the social media sphere has grown and improved so much that its importance has led to what’s now being referred to as the “Viral Games.”

This heightened interaction has created a more personal following for individual athletes than ever before. Prior to the handle @SochiProblems trending, Johnny Quinn was a relatively unknown American bobsledder. Now, however, fans are checking in daily to be part of his Sochi adventures including the now-infamous bathroom breakout:

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Then, of course, this happened…

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This intimate social interaction via the Web has created an even stronger bond between fans and their athletic idols. Some may argue, though, that all of this Olympic social media interaction is not necessarily for the better.

Twitter quickly became the outlet of choice for both complaints and comedy. The moment media began arriving to Sochi, @SochiProblems took off. As of today, the popular handle has more than 344,000 followers, an even larger number than the official Olympics Twitter handle @Sochi2014. Each day, new pictures and tweets highlighting the negativity and random mishaps taking place across the city are posted – many of which are undoubtedly worth a chuckle:

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But after all of the jokes, one question remains: are we belittling the athletes’ achievements by focusing on these superficial mishaps instead of the amazing accomplishments taking place at the Games themselves?

Please let us know your opinion by leaving comments and questions below, or send to [email protected].

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