Is the International Olympic Committee censoring your breakfast?
30 Mar 20120 comments
I was born and raised in the United States, and it is safe to say that my experience with the Olympics has been largely censored. I remember the symbolic victory of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team over the Soviet Union in 1980 in Lake Placid, but not the restrictions on protests in 2008 in Beijing. It is safe to say that the American media, in addition to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), are a fan of censorship (or at least selective reporting). This year, however, I have been able to hear the other side of the story because, by chance, someone I follow on Twitter decided to share it.
I don’t always tweet what I’ve eaten for breakfast, but I could if I wanted to. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting in trouble for the tweet – no one would mind if I traded my Sainsbury instant porridge for an Oikos Greek yogurt and decided to share that fact with my 29 Twitter followers. The Olympic athletes, who come from countries all over the world (including many developing nations), are so limited though. Usain Bolt cannot tweet that he has had Oikos Greek yogurt for breakfast; Oikos is not an official sponsor of the 2012 Olympics.
Additionally, if I were going to the games, I would not be able to tweet a video of the women’s 100-meter hurdles (my favourite event). A journalist covering the event would not be able to do so either. The freedom of the voices of the games will suffer at the expense of the lucrative sponsorship agreements. Although I can’t tweet my video, though, I can tweet about IOC censorship and hope for a re-tweet from one of my 29 followers.