Many of the hotels in Sochi were built specially for the games. The only problem with this is that many did not get finished in time. Journalists covering the Games got straight onto social media to complain about the half finished and non-existent hotels that they had booked into months prior.
There was much speculation prior to the Games that Russia, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and various country officials were banning the use of social media. This hasn’t appeared to stop anyone however with constant chatter (good and bad) across all the key platforms.
The Opening Ceremony triggered social media discussion with everything from the outfits to national patriotism being debated. No doubt the same will occur again with the closing ceremony.
Journalists covering the Winter Olympics have become obsessed with the abundance of stray dogs loitering around Sochi. This has led to #SochiStrays trending across several social media platform.
E: “Expert on Security”
“Expert on Security” is the term used to describe actor Steven Seagal when he appeared on a Russian news show talking about, you guessed it – security at the games. Why he was doing this is a whole other question. The hilarity of it all led to the video going viral.
Olympic country uniforms always cause a stir. This year, much was said about the ‘busy’ Team USA sweaters.
G: Google Doodle
In true Google style, the Google Doodle celebrating the start of the Sochi Games was controversial to say the least. The internet giant showed their support for gay rights, a hot topic due to the host country’s anti-gay stance. It caused a stir to say the least.
#Sochi2014 was even trending in anticipation before the Games began.
The top three issues being discussed on social surrounding the games are:
- Russia’s stance on homosexuality
- The extermination of stray dogs
- Security concerns at the Games
J: Jamaican Bobsled team
Korean is one of the languages that has been added to the list of languages that the Sochi Olympic organisers will be communicating with fans in on social media.
L: Luge dating fiasco
The Father of U.S Luger Tucker West started an internet phenomenon with the hashtag #TeamTucker when he told the world that his Olympian son was ‘single and a little shy, so reach out to him’.
The fast food giant has landed a social media winner with it’s #cheerstosochi campaign encouraging fans to say “cheers” to their favourite athlete or team.
N: Negative Press
@sochiproblems is just one of the negative representations online with the profile highlighting all that is wrong with the Games.
Although it plays poor cousin to the Summer Olympics, the Olympic spirit still runs strong at the Winter Olympics and captures imaginations across the globe.
The Russian President has aroused much debate on social media as the Games host, particularly for his policies on homosexuality.
Q: Questions about security
Leading up to the Games, many athletes took to social media to voice their concerns about the proposed security risks to competitors and spectators at the games.
R: Red Rocks Music Festival
The Red Rocks Music Festival started the social conversation about Sochi 2014 back in the Summer. The 17 city tour around Russia was supported by the 2014 Sochi Cultural Olympiad.
From Visa to Panasonic to Procter and Gamble, sponsors have jumped on board and are getting the most out of their involvement by constant chatter across social media.
Just prior to the games, a bizarre image went viral on social media of a double toilet with two toilets side by side at one of the games’ venues.
The Ukraine has recently suffered from internal unrest and hostility towards Russia. A terror plot to hijack a plane enroute to Sochi was uncovered just days before the Games were about to start. This sent social media into overdrive.
VKontakte (popularly known as VK) is Russia’s most popular social media network. Similar to Facebook, VK includes a newsfeed and hashtags.
American skater Ashley Wagner was one of the most talked about topics on Facebook on the night of her event due to her sourpuss face and one word response seen on TVs around the world in response to her score.
X: XXII Olympic Games
XXII Olympic Games – come on X is hard!
Y: Yoghurt drama
One of many weird and wonderful stories to come out about the Games is that Team USA’s shipment of Chobani Greek yoghurt was blocked by the Russian Government. Whether this is accurate or not is hard to know.
Sochi 2014 is Zimbabwe’s Winter Olympics debut. The sole member of the Zimbabwe Olympic team Luke Steyn will have a whole country tweeting about him when he competes in his events.