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International Olympic Committee Launches Social Hub Ahead of Games

Will run text chats with athletes
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Social media will dominate this year’s Olympics. I know, you’re shocked. Following up on last week’s news that Samsung’s Olympic Genome Project is now live, the International Olympic Committee today launched the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, which aggregates Olympians’ Facebook and Twitter feeds into profile pages and lets users earn points and prizes for liking or following those athletes.

After users register by linking their Facebook or Twitter accounts, they accrue points for liking or following Olympians and can put those points towards virtual rewards like Olympic medal badges or handier prizes like training how-to videos starring past Olympians such as Mark Spitz, Nadia Comaneci and Edwin Moses.

The hub’s home page features a search bar that lets users search for an athlete, team, sport, discipline or event. Additionally, users can filter their searches to query only within certain categories: athlete, team (country), sport/discipline/event or game.

When the Olympics start, the IOC will add a section to aggregate Olympians’ real-time status updates alongside their results. The athletic body will also run chats with Olympic competitors during the games. The IOC’s head of social media, Alex Huot, said in an email that the chats will take place “where it makes the most sense for users and on the platforms that the athletes like to engage with.” Possibilities include an athlete’s personal Twitter account or the IOC’s @olympics account. The IOC is also looking at developing “chat widgets” that could simultaneously run the chats on the IOC’s Olympics Facebook page as well as on the hub, Huot said.