It's good news for Olympian-obsessed fans and Twitter-lovers alike, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently gave the go ahead for athletes to use social media at any point during the 2012 summer games in London. Think about the possibilities! You could be watching Michael Phelps swim on live television and read exactly what he is thinking between races.

In most professional sports leagues, the use of Twitter is prohibited. In the NFL, players are not allowed to tweet for 30 minutes before a game, during the game, and for 30 minutes afterwards. But in a surprise move, the usually conservative IOC has set a progressive new precedent, deciding to permit athletes, coaches, and trainers to blog, tweet, and post photos about their experiences during the Olympics, as long as they restrict themselves to a "first-person, diary-type format" [1].

Of course, there are even more specific stipulations. The IOC will create a website specifically for monitoring the athletes' use of social media, and players could get booted from the games for the following violations:

  • Commercial use
  • Journalism. Athletes will not be allowed to "report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons, or disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organisation." [2]
  • Audio and video from inside the venues
  • X-rated content
  • Political demonstrations

I love the idea of complete access into an Olympian's experience, but I fear that some athletes, already accustomed to their social media ways, might suffer as a result. The anti-journalism rule seems a bit subjective, and I'm worried that there will be a couple athletes who get kicked out of London 2012 because they can't break 21st century habits. It would be a shame to see someone get disqualified for tweeting something so harmless as, "Usain Bolt is taller in person!". What do you think?

Here's a list of verified Olympians with Twitter accounts, and don't forget to check out Wikia Sports' Twitter page

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