Are there social media guidelines for athletes in the Olympics?

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Athletes from around the world are heading to Rio for the Olympics, and I can’t even begin to imagine the number of people making the trip to watch the events in person. If you haven’t already booked travel for it, then you’re probably going to follow the events through social media, like I am.

I’ll be tuned in to the official Olympics Twitter profile, ESPN, and a host of other social channels to get my fix. But I’ll also check out the social feeds of some of the Olympic contenders.

Not all of them, mind you: the U.S. alone (Team USA!) sends hundreds of athletes to compete for the gold. But I’ll be paying close attention to some of them for their clever use of social media. I’m also excited to see how competitors from other countries use the newest platforms and updated features to keep in touch with their audiences.

A lot of them are building an impressive following.

According to CTV News of Canada, professional athletes have extremely influential...

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Several reasons:

The more compensation amateurs were allowed to receive, the more the definition between "amateurs" and "professionals" became indistinguishable (if it wasn't already). Increased viewership. $$$

Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, had intended that Olympic competition should be among amateurs rather than professionals.

In the dictionary, "amateur" means:

a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons.

However, in 1971, the IOC approved compensation for amateur athletes(1).

Eastern nations were sponsored to train and compete on a full-time basis by their governments. As a result, US athletes found it difficult to compete with athletes from eastern nations, resulting in the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act in 1978 allowing US athletes to receive compensation.

Moreover,...

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Some athletes, like American skier Lindsey Vonn, are telling fans they won't twitter at the Games.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Some athletes are telling fans they won't be posting, but some posts are OK
IOC: Athletes must keep posts confined to their personal experiences
Rule: Only those persons accredited as media may act as journalists
Ban on references to sponsors or advertisers who aren't official Olympic partners

(WIRED) -- American skier Lindsey Vonn, one of the potential stars of the 2010 Winter Olympics, told her nearly 35,000 Twitter followers that she would not be posting to the social network until after the Games were over, perhaps based on a faulty understanding of the International Olympic Committee's rules on blogging and social networking.

Vonn wrote that "because of the Olympic rules (blackout period) I will not be able to post any updates from now until march 3rd. Sorry, it bums me out too!" In the update, which was also...

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We love the Internet. Except when we hate it. Every week, Jordan Valinsky bottles the angst of his Millennial generation and finds something to despise about the Web.

This year the Summer Olympics are supposed to be different.

The games should be pinned, tweet-worthy, Facebookable, and other buzz words invented at Mashable summits. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has even gone so far as to bill the upcoming games as the “social media Olympics.” ICWUDT, guys.

But by judging the strict IOC’s “Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines,” it looks like the games are anything but. The IOC is channeling its inner-Russian gymnast coach and controlling every aspect of the athletes’ digital lives.

The four-page draconian explainer of what the IOC permits athletes to do is enervating to read. There’s a lot of ambiguous statements, odd italics on certain words, and your typical fun-quenching rules that one comes to expect from the IOC. It’s...

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Transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympics and other international events without undergoing sex reassignment surgery, according to new guidelines adopted by the IOC.

International Olympic Committee medical officials said on Sunday they changed the policy to adapt to current scientific, social and legal attitudes on transgender issues.

The guidelines are designed as recommendations – not rules or regulations – for international sports federations and other bodies to follow and should apply for this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“I don’t think many federations have rules on defining eligibility of transgender individuals,” IOC medical director Dr Richard Budgett said. “This should give them the confidence and stimulus to put these rules in place.”

Under the previous IOC guidelines, approved in 2003, athletes who transitioned from male to female or vice versa were required to have reassignment surgery followed by at least two...

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This is What’s Trending Today….

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have come to an end, but people are still discussing media coverage of the event.

Several comments by Olympic broadcasters about women athletes led to a debate.

During the team gymnastics competition, for example, an American broadcaster commented about the smiling and laughing U.S. women’s team. They had just easily won a round of the competition. The announcer said that the athletes “might as well be standing in the middle of a mall.”

Another American announcer credited Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu’s husband for making her a winning competitor. Hosszu’s husband, American Shane Tusup, is also her coach.

And the Chicago Tribune newspaper identified bronze medal winner Corey Cogdell-Unrein in a headline as the “wife” of a Chicago football player. The headline failed...

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It’s hard to imagine a time before the Olympics were splashed all over the Internet via social media, but in reality it wasn’t so long ago. With each Olympics, there are both new social media platforms (this year, Snapchat) and new features on beloved platforms (Instagram Stories, Twitter Moments) that impact how athletes, brands, and fans engage with the Olympics. To help you understand the social media trends at the Olympics, here’s a look at how #Rio2016 will play out online (and how your business can get in on the action!)

Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

While #Rio2016 is an official Olympics trademark at this year’s games and seen on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, it was only 8 years ago that the first Olympics hashtag, #beijing2008, was created by Twitter users, not the IOC. You may be wondering why it took the Olympics — arguably the oldest and most important sporting event in the world — so long to get with the social media program, but there’s a major reason for...

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There are guidelines for social media which is enforced by the IOC. Basically they are encouraged to use social media to post or tweet photos etc as long as;

any such postings, blogs or tweets must be in a first-person, diary-type format

Also they can't use their social media to promote sponsorships or advertisements.

This next quote is probably the most important and interesting part of it as it seems to be the downfall of most footballers when they tweet!

Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and should not be discriminatory, offensive, hateful, defamatory or otherwise illegal and shall not contain vulgar or obscene words or...

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By David Kahn
SportTechie

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are fast upon us. One of the things that has sparked a major controversy is the amount of rules and regulations that Russia and the International Olympic Committee are holding the athletes accountable for. There seem to be more than usual, and the types of regulations are quite astounding.

For anyone who knows about Russia and its politics, there is the issue of its anti-gay laws, such as the one where simply saying the word gay or promoting a gay lifestyle can lead to prison or or a hefty fine. This worries a lot of the athletes coming into Sochi, because more and more of them have come out and are living openly gay lifestyles. They don't want to be persecuted and threatened while they are trying to compete for their countries at the highest level.

Several athletes, including openly gay snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, have been very outspoken about these anti-gay laws in Russia and how it's...

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Team USA beach volleyball player hopes to dominate on the Olympic stage once again. USA TODAY Sports

Olympic athletes are unique in their own right, but there’s one area where they are just like us: Social media.

Especially since many are Millennials — the average age of Team USA athletes is 27 — they frequently post training updates, interact with fans and share photos. But when they get to Rio de Janeiro, they plan on different approaches to engaging on social media — at least until they’re done competing.

“There’s a time and a place (for social media), and for me, it’s going to be after the competition is done,” said fencer Jason Pryor (Instagram: @pryorsixty8). “The worst thing you can do is to really get swept up in a lot of the media and a lot of the outlying stuff about the Olympics when it’s really about the competition. So once I get to Rio, I’m going to be in blackout mode until after I compete. I’m going to go to (opening) ceremonies, and after...

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Guest point by Eric Schwartzman (@ericschwartzman) on why he believes the Social Media Policy at the 2012 London Olympics failed

First off, social media could have at least partially erased the advantage that some state-sponsored “full-time amateur athletes” from Eastern Bloc countries enjoy over self-financed amateurs from Western countries. But unfortunately the social media gag order by the IOC neutered that chance by restricting athletes from sharing posts that mention their sponsors on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else online. Here’s the clause:

“Participants and other accredited persons are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet…” [PDF]

Since state-funded athletes don’t need to raise money from private enterprise to support their Olympic bids, social media could have given those who do a way to rally funds.

The financial pressure on US Olympians is no joke. The parents of Gabby Douglas and...

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For anyone who's ever been inspired by an Olympic athlete, now's the chance to return the favor.

Fans can wish their favorite athletes good luck at the Sochi Olympics through McDonald's "#Cheers to Sochi" campaign, which will kick off Thursday. The messages, sent via Twitter or posted on the campaign's website, will be displayed at the athletes village in Sochi, and athletes will be able to print out their favorites on ribbons that can be worn throughout the Games.

"In the previous Olympics I've attended, there was never a way for the fans that follow the Winter Olympics to really stay in touch or follow the participants. We're so drawn apart," said Shani Davis, a two-time gold medalist in speedskating who is helping promote #Cheers to Sochi.

"To be able to tap into a multibillion-fan following, I think it's going to be amazing."

The Olympics have always been a big deal for McDonald's, a worldwide sponsor of the Games. As the official restaurant, it sets...

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