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Olympic Games expected to break social media records

The only things tweeting were the birds when the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896.

Times have changed however, and this year's London Games may prove to be one of the biggest events in social media history, with people all around the world logging on to share their views on the latest action.

Jackie-Brock Doyle, communications director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, believes new technology will allow people to experience the event like never before.

"In Sydney there was hardly any fast internet, in Athens there were hardly any smartphones, in Beijing hardly anyone had social networks … that’s all changed," Ms Doyle told the Associated Press.

"Here, everyone has all that and will be consuming the games in a different way.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have set up an Athletes Hub, where people can search for their favourite athletes or teams and get easy access to Twitter and Facebook details.

It's an original and immersive social media strategy, and gives users the chance to earn rewards by following their favourites and commenting on Olympic results.

According to the IOC, American basketball star LeBron James is currently the most popular Olympic athlete with 15,042,878 fans, followed by Kobe Bryant (13,181,926) and Rafael Nadal (10,789,847).

However the IOC is wary of the risks involved in allowing athletes to use social media to share original content with the public. In August of last year, it released a set of guidelines for athletes to follow when blogging, tweeting, taking pictures or recording video or audio. 

Nonetheless, the online build up to the games has not been without incident. Australian swimmers Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk sparked controversy earlier this week after posting pictures of themselves brandishing firearms in an American gun store.

The pair were reprimanded by the Australian Olympic Committee and have since placed a self-imposed ban on their social media use.

Posted by Zak Wash