TechnOlympics


I found in the quiz that I am an ambivalent networker – I have allowed technology to help me in my everyday life via interactions and entertainment, but I still find too much digital communication to be intrusive. This seems perfect for me as I know I’m not the fastest texter and I like having a face to face conversation or telephone communication before typing one out. But, I also use the computer for EVERYTHING from school work to Netflix. So I like to think I am ambivalent towards technology, at least for now.

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When I read the prompt, I knew I wanted to look at how sports was changed by technology and then remembered that it was an Olympic year. So I did a little research about how the Olympics has changed because of technology since the last Winter Games.

In 2012, social media really changed the way people viewed the Olympics. With apps and live streaming events on NBC’s website, the Olympics became very digital. Now that we are two years ahead of the previous Olympic games, there will definitely be more of a social media presence. In 2012, the live streaming video views were higher than  television views, as seen in the NBC link, so the 2014 Olympics we can only assume will have higher technological influence. Tweeting is definitely a bigger part of young athletes’ lives  now and will definitely play a large part in event reviews and news. Russian media was even reporting that social media use would be banned for journalists during The Games. Luckily this was discovered to be untrue.

The way people view and share the Olympic Games is not the only way technology has changed the Olympic Games – even just in the past decade. Russia is claiming that records will be set in 2014 for the “greenest” Olympic Games. From cameras that will help control climate to solar panel roofing and high-tech air purifiers, the Sochi Olympics will be the most high tech to date.

Not all technological advances are necessarily good. In swimming, (sorry, I had to) high-tech suits were banned in 2009 because many believed they gave unfair advantages that disregarded any actual talent. So swimming is actually one sport where technology has decreased. A new technology that effects swimming though is timing. In 2008 it became standard to time down to the thousandth, another huge technology change that effects almost all Olympic sports.

Advertising is also away technology has changed the Olympics. It get the viewer to connect in a relatable way to athletes and allows for companies to use the athletic venue to market goods and services. Here are some of the best and most inspirational ads from the past, and I am sure there will be even better ads coming up this year.

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3 comments on “TechnOlympics

  1. I am very intrigued by this topic as well. In my post, I spoke about the influence that social media has had on sports and I like how you expanded this to technology in general. I will be curious to see how the winter olympics in Russia will be presented through apps and online. It definitely makes all of our lives easier when streaming of events is done online, but there is always the issue of whether it will affect advertising.

  2. I don’t understand the technology issue in swimming. If The USA, or Australia, use advanced nutrition science, use weight-training, use shaving, use head caps, are not all of those technologies? At some level, a technology is simply a tool.

    We ban steroids in most sports. Well, it is also a technology.

    Maybe there is a good reason to ban some technologies in some sports, but to simply claim it is “an unfair advantage” as if a country’s WEALTH is not also a huge advantage, or its population, or its geography (looking at your Kenyan runners) or its “culture” (looking at you America, Australia), seems at least simplistic if not hypocritical.

    Why not give swimmers from poorer countries the suits?!?!?! How much would that cost compared to the mounds of cash the IOC rakes in?

  3. Pingback: Blog Council on Nerd Alert | Let's Get Ethical

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