Twitter and the Olympics

Are you ready for the Olympics this year? Well, the host city doesn’t seem to be ready either. But Twitter is doing it’s part to celebrate and promote the once in every four year occasion.

The Olympic torch has opened up a twitter account. This isn’t a joke: someone really did open a twitter account just to celebrate the running of the torch. It’s under the username @OlympicFlame. The torch sends out tweets about it’s journey and will continue to do so until the games start in Rio on August 5, 2016. The torch will travel over 100 days, be carried by over 12,000 runners for over 12,500 miles, and travel throughout the host country of Brazil and Greece, the nation that gave us the modern Olympics back in 1896. One tweet says, “After spending years in the darkness I can?t wait to see the light of day again. Almost time to return.” Another tweet features the first torch runner, a Greek Olympic competitor expressing honor in upholding this tradition. You can also follow the torch on social media sites Vine and Periscope. The modern Olympic torch tradition started in 1936. The games were held in Berlin that year, among a whirlwind of controversy. In ancient times, they practiced this tradition as well.

And just like Berlin in 1936, Rio, and Brazil, are facing lots of challenges and controversies. A few days ago, a bridge collapsed, killing several innocent people. This bridge was going to be raced on by Olympic cyclists. There are stories of political unrest, like the possible impeachment of their president, Dilma Rousseff. There are stories of natural calamities, such as severe drought, mass animal deaths and sewage backups. There are stories of record high unemployment and inflation. They say many of the facilities won’t be ready by August 2016. Shouldn’t social media do a better job covering these issues? Is the torch running the only bright spot in this upcoming Olympics?

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