The First Socialympics











The Olympics are now in full swing – and so is social media. So much so, in fact that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has nicknamed London 2012 “The Social Games.”  The IOC’s Social Media, Internet, and Blogging guidelines for the London 2012 Olympic Games states “The IOC actively encourages and supports athletes and other accredited persons at the Olympic Games to take part in ‘social media’ and to post, blog and tweet their experiences.”  The Beijing games had nearly 6 million Twitter followers, and now in London there are 500 million. In 2008, there were 100 million Facebook fans, and in 2012 there are 900 million following the summer games. Talk about an increase in numbers! It is the first time every event is being live-streamed by NBC, perhaps to achieve more global togetherness in sports—the goal of the Olympics. Many athletes are actively using their Twitter and Instagram accounts posting pictures of themselves each day, wishing fellow teammates good luck, and of course giving shout outs to their fans. Proctor and Gamble says social media will account for half of its impressions during the games in London. Keeping up with the Socialympics is an exhausting task.

I often wonder how someone is an Olympian. How did they get there? Who was the person who supported them and ultimately contributed to winning their first medal? Luckily, Proctor and Gamble, the proud sponsor of moms, helped answer my questions.  For part of their Thank You Mom campaign, they created 2-3 minute videos of Olympic athletes and their moms titled “Raising an Olympian.” The videos share the journeys of Olympians through their moms’ eyes. Each video comes with emotion and views that only a mom could express about their child.

At the end of Henry Cejudo’s video he says, “She loves this country. She loves it as much as I do.  This is who I am.  I’m American.” In fact, the P&G brand Tide has an ongoing project “My Story. Our Flag.”  On July 3rd in Bryant Park, Tide unveiled a massive 6,000 square foot flag with stories of what red, white, and blue mean to people. Although the physical flag has already come and gone, everyone is still encouraged to tell their story through Tide’s Facebook page or tweeting with the hashtag #TideFlag.  This will last until the games in London are over.  This effort is to support the Olympic spirit and help inspire Team USA throughout the games. Take some time to talk about it with your family and answer Tide’s question: What does red, white, and blue mean to you?

As Ryan Lochte put it, and I’m sure many others would agree, “If it wasn’t for my mom, I don’t know where I’d be.” Moms are the ones who remember all the stories we don’t, as we begin to follow our dreams at a young age.  They are the ones who help us improve to be our very best and love us no matter what. Moms encourage us through rough times and celebrate with us during accomplishments. Simply put, moms are the best cheerleaders in the world.  P&G posted the videos to their YouTube channel, while some athletes like Lochte tweeted about it.  Take a look at the inspiring videos and never stop cheering your child on—they could be an Olympian some day, and you could be their answer to what red, white, and blue means to them.


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