A New Perspective on the Olympics Through Instagram

14 Feb A New Perspective on the Olympics Through Instagram

Earlier this week, I saw an article in the Huffington Post about the Olympics that said, “If you want to feel like you’re at the Olympics, but aren’t quite ready for a plane ticket to Russia, following the Instagram accounts of those who are there might be the next best thing.”

The feature goes on to show photos from Olympian Instagram accounts that really aren’t so different than the pictures that your friends share (other than the impressive jumps and gold medals). This year, more than ever before, fans may be able to see a new perspective of the Olympic experience at Sochi: the athletes’. Across the board athletes are posting goofy pictures in their uniforms, making duck faces, and using an array of artsy filters.

This really got me thinking about the power of photo and video sharing platforms to humanize celebrities, businesses, and even Olympians. Because social networks are a source of brief, unedited insight in to the lives of our idols, they create a link between celebrities and the rest of the world that previously did not exist.

Despite the rumored ban on “tweeting,” “Instagramming” and “Vining” at the Olympic games, social media has been flooded with activity about Sochi. Athletes will have Instagram streams filled with sunset views from the Sochi slopes, 6-second hockey videos, gold medal selfies, and platefuls of food from the athletes’ village in the weeks to come. Photo and video-sharing platforms created a way to take groups like the top echelon idolized athletes and make them seem reachable and relatable.

The opportunity to see events like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics through the eyes, and phone, of an Olympian is an exciting evolution in media.  The already multidimensional world of journalism is expanding further so the way we tell stories is different on every level.

With every Olympics comes a new technology evolution that brings us closer to the action. From the first broadcast in the 1930’s to the first Olympics with twitter in 2008 we have gotten more and more access to what is really happening at the games. Now with Instagram we’re able to get visual insight to what the athletes are doing, seeing, and even eating. I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.

Sally McHugh
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