Olympic Athletes’ Hub bringing fans and Olympians closer together

Lausanne (SUI), April 18, 2012: Want to become better acquainted with your favourite Olympians? Tired of not knowing if the athletes you are following online are the real deal? Looking for a unified status-update stream that integrates Facebook and Twitter so you can get the entire conversation and not just part of it? If you said yes to any or all of these questions, then the Olympic Athletes’ Hub at www.olympic.org/hub is the place for you (Olympic Athletes Hub).

Officially launched online today to coincide with 100 days to go to London 2012, the Hub is the latest initiative by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make the Olympic experience more personal and interactive for Olympic fans worldwide by substantially increasing engagement between them and the athletes.

The Hub is a searchable directory of Olympians that provides posts from their Facebook and Twitter accounts and other information designed to connect people with their favourite athletes. Using the Hub’s search function, users can effortlessly locate athletes by country or by sport. Over 1,000 verified Olympians have already joined the Hub, and the number will continue to grow as the countdown to London 2012 continues and word of the Hub spreads.

Fans can unlock secret training tips from Olympic legends, including Nadia Comaneci (gymnastics, ROM), Edwin Moses (athletics, USA), Mark Spitz (swimming, USA), Yelena Isinbayeva (athletics, RUS) and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (figure skating, GBR). The more athletes users “like” on Facebook or follow on Twitter through the site, the more points they receive, accumulating prizes such as virtual gold, silver and bronze medals from past Olympic Games in the process. Many other prizes will also be awarded on the road to London 2012.

During the London 2012 Olympic Games, a special section will be created on the Hub where users can view in real time what the athletes competing at the Games are saying on social media sites. In addition, for the first time ever at the Olympic Games, chats with athletes will take place from within the Athletes’ Village, connecting fans and Olympians in real time.

“The Olympic Athletes’ Hub was born out of our desire to connect Olympic athletes and their fans more intimately than ever before,” said Alex Huot, Head of Social Media for the IOC. “With the launch of the Hub, we are creating a paradigm shift in the communication around the Olympic Games, and we are excited to offer this opportunity for greater engagement and interaction between Olympians and their fans.”

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