So with another Olympics done and dusted, it’s reflection time. I said in one of my previous blogs, I hoped the Aussie campaign wouldn’t be remembered by our failure in the pool, and in all honestly, I think it has been.
One of the major talking points coming out of the games is our lack of “success” which essentially means we didn’t win enough gold medals. Sure, if you compare previous games to London, it’s been a letdown. Our 7 gold pales in comparison to our 14 gold in Beijing, 17 in Athens, 16 in Sydney and 9 in Atlanta.
But as with everything you have to look on the bright side of life (song still in my head from the closing ceremony) and take the good with the bad. I think the general “we failed as a nation” is a bit rough I think many athletes excelled at their chosen sport, and even though they not have even medalled, many did run/throw/do a PB which, when you think about it, is a huge success. To train for four years and peak at the right time, performing at the best of your ability is a massive achievement.
I picked out Aussie 400m runner Steve Solomon, who became the first Aussie to make a 400m final in 40 years. He ran two PB’s to qualify for the final and although he came last, yes last, calm down you negative journos, it was still a huge effort from the 19-year-old to make it that far, and to me that’s one of the real success story of the games.
I think it is important to note the difference between him and someone like James Magnussen when discussing the real success of the games. Magnussen, to put it simply, talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. Granted, he was a fingernail away from gold, but when you say before the meet that you could win at 90%, there is going to be some questions asked when you don’t win. But someone like Solomon, who quietly went about his business and was so excited when he reached the final, is a breath of fresh air.
I think it is this relationship that has defined our games – some of our top athletes promised to deliever and didn’t – Magnussen, Seebohm and a few other members of our swimming team, while others quietly went about their business and did us proud – the ENTIRE sailing team. Maybe what has really happened is swimmers back in Straya’ decided they were sick of the water and wanted something more stable on the water to race in? Or maybe not.
Overall, I think the Olympics and London was a huge success in terms of the overall experience. Some of the best moments for me include the Meares/Pearson double, the Feck flop, Bolt dominating, Phelps becoming a legend, and Wonderwall during the closing ceremony, and many others.
Rio, it’s a hard act to follow, you had better be prepared (get some kind of bodily wax possibly?) to put on a great show.
Another thing that was fascinating during the Olympics was the use of social media. I am sure this is the first time that social media has really been a huge part of an Olympic games, as I am sure back in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics athletes definitely weren’t tweeting pictures of themself.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding our athlete’s use of social media and if it affects performance, but I don’t really want to go into that. Basically, if you are a world-class athlete you should be able to use Twitter and still perform on the day. I mean even Bolt managed a few sneaky tweets here and there.
I found an interesting article here that discusses the emergance as Instagram as a new powerhouse for social media platforms over the Olympics. The #Olympics hashtag was used 650,000 times via Instagram, some huge numbers. 7,620 photos were Instragramed from the Olympic stadium, while 3,540 were ‘grammed from Wembly Stadium. That’s some big numbers, but the one that surprised me the most was 27,000 photos were shared with the hashtag #michaelphelps. Wowzers!
This just adds to the thought that social media is changing the way we do EVERYTHING, and doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. We now have more ways than ever to share and convey what we are doing and seeing, and Instagram is the latest way to say “hey, look what I am doing on my Saturday night, I am such a party animal.”
Even the American Dream Team has jumped on board the instawagon (yeah, you can use that one if you want), check out a photo from Kevin Durant via http://mashable.com/2012/07/25/usa-basketball-instagram/
Speaking of, you can find me on instragram at Edwin_Smith or on twitter at Edwin_smith1 for some top notch photos and tweets. Most of the time.
That’s about all I have to say, hope you enjoy reading and once again, potential employers, still looking for a job, although an interesting phone call yesterday could change a few things. Stay tuned sports fans.