Australian Olympic hopefuls asked to ‘tweet or compete’

Sally Pearson, Anna Meares
Getty Images

Australia’s Olympic Committee asked its potential Olympians if they wanted to “tweet or compete” at the Rio Games next year, recommending they have a social media plan in place before the Olympics.

Australia and social media at the Olympics were a story at London 2012 and Sochi 2014.

In London, swimmer Emily Seebohm lamented her use of social media after taking silver in the 100m backstroke behind Missy Franklin. Seebohm’s preliminary heat time would have won the gold.

Before Sochi, it was announced Australian athletes were barred from posting on social media at training and competition venues at the Winter Games.

“Our athletes in London didn’t understand, and we didn’t understand either, the dangers or the distraction,” Australia Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “We were worried about what people might say [online], but we weren’t concerned about the distraction. We now know that.”

Australian Olympic champions Sally Pearson (100m hurdles) and Anna Meares (track cycling) said they turned off their social media once in the London athletes’ village, in videos played at an Olympic hopefuls gathering Wednesday, according to Australian reports.

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