How to Tweet your way out of the Olympics
As you know, the XXX Olympics began last Friday with the opening ceremonies in London, England. Events will take place in and out of London including Wales and Scotland (each part of the British Isles). Over 200 countries and 10,000 athletes are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in twenty-six sporting events. These athletes prepare for years for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Some qualify for a second, third and beyond Olympics spending decades training in their particular sport. Read the particulars about this two-week international competition here.
Social media is part of every Olympian’s life. However, the Olympic rules prohibit any inappropriate behavior among the athletes. A few athletes have learned that the Olympic Committee is serious about enforcing the rules. Within the first few days of competition, two athletes were expelled from the Olympics for their messages posted on Twitter.
Twenty-three year-old Michel Morganella, a Swiss soccer player, tweeted what has been called a threatening and offensive message aimed at South Korean people. This followed the Swiss team’s loss to South Korea a few days earlier in a 2 to 1 match. Morganella was stripped of his Olympic accreditation.
In another incident, 23-year-old Voula Papachristou was banned from participating in the Olympics a few days before the Games began. She tweeted that “So many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food.” The Greek triple jumper apologized for her post but the penalty remains.
We hope this is the last incident of this kind. No athlete sets out to spend four-plus years training to compete in the Olympics just to be thrown out because of a thoughtless post. Think B4 U Send – your future depends on it.
Our hopes for less online cruelty ended on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. A 17-year-old boy in England was arrested for tweeting threatening messages to Olympic diver, 18-year-old Tom Daley. Daley lost his father to cancer a year ago and he hoped to win a medal for himself and his Dad. However, he finished fourth in Monday’s competition. The tweeter posted ”You let your dad down i hope you know that.” He later threatened to drown Daley and added other profane posts. The tweeter was arrested for violating Britain’s law against menacing or offensive posts.