Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
When we recently spoke to Alex Huot, the Head of Social Media at the International Olympics Committee, he clued us in on one of the major features online fans can expect from London 2012 – the Athletes’ Hub.
With exactly 100 days to go for the start of the big event, the IOC is officially launching the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, bringing together social media updates from Olympian athletes, offering fans direct access to their favourite athletes, and more.
During the Summer Games, the Athletes’ Hub will be the first place fans can go to get real-time updates and results as the athletes compete for the gold.
Speaking about the concept Huot said, “The Olympic Athletes’ Hub was born out of our desire to connect Olympic athletes and their fans more intimately than ever before. With the launch of the Hub, we are creating a paradigm shift in the communication around the Olympic Games, and we are excited to offer this opportunity for greater engagement and interaction between Olympians and their fans.”
Alex Huot described London 2012 as the first Social Media Olympics, and the Athletes’ Hub is an integral part of making that happen, by offering its global audience an intimate front-row seat on everything going on in London, and by giving them access to the athletes in a way that has never been done before.
The social media site will make it easy to keep up with the athletes’ updates through their official Facebook and Twitter accounts, all aggregated on the Athletes’ Hub, so audience members can be sure that the updates aren’t from fake accounts. The space will also be used to give fans an insider’s look into the Olympic Village, and will include chats with athletes.
Each athlete’s page consists of links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, their latest updates, and the events they’ve participated in, in the past:
Over 1,000 Olympians have already joined the Hub, and the number is expected to grow as we get closer to the opening ceremony for London 2012.
A rewards system is also in place, where fans can unlock extras including training tip videos from greats like Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci and American swimmer Mark Spitz, and can also receive virtual Olympic medals along with a few real-world prizes as well.
While the Athletes’ Hub makes it incredibly easy to keep up with all the Olympics goings-on as they happen, the organization has a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook, the latter of which takes advantage of the Timeline feature, to give fans the complete history of the Olympics, going all the way back to 1894.
Don’t forget that Alex Huot will be speaking at The Next Web Conference 2012 in Amsterdam, which takes place on 26-27 April. You can still book your ticket today!
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