For the past couple of weeks, you could say there were two groups of people: Those who watched the Olympics and those who followed the Olympics. Not all watchers were followers, but it’s safe to say most followers were probably watchers as well. And while some of the followers may have been bored (or irate) by the tape delays that aired on NBC prime time, they still had front row seats to some unprecedented online action. Even if you weren’t on nbcolympics.com trying to catch the live streams, it was impossible to miss the amazing shenanigans happening all over the web.
Just a few favorites:
And then there was Twitter. If you’re like us and wanted to truly participate in the play-by-plays, it was probably your go-to spot. There were more than 150 million (!) Twitter conversations about the Olympics since the Opening Ceremonies. There were more than 2 million tweets about Gabby Douglas, as well as Ryan Lochte, and it wasn’t uncommon to see celebrities tweeting at Olympians or about them:
So. While it’s lovely that NBC broke their ratings – averaging 31+ million watchers each night — we kinda expected that, especially if you’re getting a ton of free, user-generated promotion around one of the most beloved events in the world. What’s genuinely exciting is that this year’s overall activity by outlets, spectators, and athletes was just a taste of what’s to come. By 2016, there will be even more followers instead of basic watchers, and coverage of the Olympics will be more integrated (rather than trying to straddle both old school TV practices and new media trends). As a digital director at a fitness magazine, I’m pretty pumped for 2016. I’m thinking 2012 was just a warm-up!
But until then: Thank you, Internet, for making these Olympic Games so ridiculously fun.
“Faster, Higher, Stronger.” “Faster, Higher, Sarah Robles.” Because if you want a synonym for “stronger,” look no farther than the 23 year-old U.S. weightlifter.
It’s not just that she’s technically the strongest woman in our country—Robles will compete for her place on the international podium on August 5th—but it’s the other challenges that have shown the world just how mentally tough this girl is. In the weeks leading up the Games, many of us learned about her financial struggles…and were thrilled to see the online community cheer her on.
But no amount of money, medals, or media attention changes the fact that the 5’10”, 275-pound, 23 year-old has had to overcome a few body issues. On behalf of every woman in America, I’m just gonna go ahead and say that’s where I think her most enduring, admirable strength truly lies. Here, a few questions and answers with the Olympian.
FITNESS: How did your life change when you began accepting your shape and body type?
SARAH ROBLES: My life changed for the better when I decided to be okay with who I am. I knew I wasn’t going to change, nor really could do much about it anyway. I cared more about being the best athlete. It didn’t matter what my body looked like, it mattered more to me how it performed.
FITNESS: What are your best confidence-boosting tips for other women?
SARAH ROBLES: First, stop caring about what other people think. They probably aren’t thinking what you think they are, and most likely, you’ll never see them again.
Next, surround yourself with positive people. Negativity is sticky. It sticks to you and is hard to get rid of. Once you do (find those positive people), you will feel clean, happy, and free!
Lastly, do things you really love or try new things. You never know what you can be good at unless you try. When you learn new skills or further develop the ones you have, you will be more confident.
FITNESS: Which athletes or celebrities do you relate to the most? On a related note, who are your role models? Read more
Fewer than 500 people have competed in five different Olympic Games. Among them: 38-year-old archer Khatuna Lorig, who carried the flag for the U.S. at the 2008 closing ceremony. Lorig’s other claim to fame? Training Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss, to look authentic using a bow and arrow in The Hunger Games film adaptation (which is available on DVD and digital download on August 18).
We caught up with the accomplished athlete, who is currently ranked fourth after the women’s individual ranking round, to learn more about her quest for gold and what it’s like to train a tribute.
How does it feel to be competing in your fifth Olympic Games? What does training look like leading up to the competition?
It feels great! Typically, we train from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour for lunch. Since we’re getting to the last minute, we do about four hours a day now.
What qualities make for a medal-worthy archer?
You need a very strong upper body. Women usually use bows that weigh 43 or 44 pounds, while men use 49-pound or heavier bows. I use one that weighs 47 pounds.
Wow, that sounds intense to be lifting that during all of your training and competitions! Do you cross train to build strength and stay in shape?
Any free weight exercises for shoulders and arms are great, but I like to make sure I work my legs and heart too. I lift for about an hour, then finish with two or three miles of running. And of course a soak in the jacuzzi!
To find out about a fun mutual admiration society between Lorig and Lawrence, click below.
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Need a guilt-free treat? Try these four healthy ways to enjoy strawberries this summer. – FitSugar
- Don’t let the heat get in the way of exercise. Greatist has stay-cool tips for your summer workout. – Greatist
- Do you get cranky when it’s hot? Science explains why. – MSNBC
- Eat well wherever you go. Here’s your healthy eating plan for summer travel. – BlissTree
- Double amputee Oscar Pistorius was told he’d never stand or play sports. This summer, he’s racing in the Olympics. – L.A. Times Sports