Many people have entertained olympic aspirations at some point in their lives, even if you have relatively no athletic ability. We all imagine what it would be like to be an Olympic athlete in those crucial moments leading up and following those life defining competitions. With the prominence of mobile technology, we are finally getting that taste of world-class competition from a first-hand perspective.
“Athletes are spending a lot more time on their hand-held devices updating followers throughout the day,” says Canadian athlete Karen Cockburn.
More than 150 Canadian athletes are using Twitter by posting photos and reactions during their events and from the Olympic village in London. London 2012 is being called the first “social games,” as approximately 400 million tweets are being sent out daily, compared to 300 000 during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The sheer number of people tweeting live from their mobile device is disrupting internet service in the area, which has caused issues for broadcasters. Some reported being unable to access racers’ times during cycling events because of service disruptions.
“We don’t want to stop people engaging in this by social media and sending updates, but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates,” says Olympic Communication Director Mark Adams.
The UK’s five main mobile carriers are working with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to plan out the data requirements to accomodate increased mobile traffic in event areas.
“The demands that will be placed on the networks will be like having four royal weddings per day for 17 consecutive days,” says Stuart Newstead, chair of Mobile Experience group.
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