You might think the London Olympics are the Gaffe Games.
Over the weekend, the #NBCfail hashtag
emerged on Twitter as fans tweeted their anger about NBC’s tape delay.
Elsewhere on Twitter, the brewing controversy over empty seats spawned the cheeky account @OlympicSeat
, while U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo drew criticism for slamming commentator Brandi Chastain
in a tweet. And there’s the Greek triple-jump entrant whose questionable tweet got her booted
from her team before the games even started.
It’s too bad these examples are grabbing so much coverage, because the positive moments on social media far outweigh the gaffes.
Here are five examples of (mostly U.S.-centric) social media triumphs at the London Games:
Jordyn Wieber’s mom gives her daughter a “Twitter hug.”
For Americans, possibly the most heart-wrenching moment of the 2012 Games occurred on its third day when gymnast Jordyn Wieber, the women’s all-around world champion, failed to qualify for the individual all-around finals. Despite the devastating loss, the 17-year-old Wieber brushed aside the tears as she offered heartfelt congratulations to her team members who had made the cut.
As her daughter faced the spotlight, Rita Weber—Jordyn’s mom—offered this tweet
“My one wish right now would be to give my amazing daughter #jordyn_wieber a huge hug. So proud of her. She is all class!!! #Olympics”
And the world let out a collective, “Awwwww.”
Despite a loss in the pool, Michael Phelps shows he’s a good sport.
Another disappointing defeat led to a social media triumph. Michael Phelps, the 15-time gold medalist in men’s swimming, finished fourth in his first race—the 400-meter individual medley—while his teammate, Ryan Lochte, won the gold.
How did Phelps feel about the loss? Disappointed, obviously—“Not pleased with my race tonight at all,” he tweeted—but happy for his teammate and Team USA: “Congrats to @ryanlochte
... Way to keep that title in the country where it belongs!!”
It’s a small gesture of support, but the tweet shows how a world-class athlete should respond on social media.
U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer shares a family moment with the world.
Not only did U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer win gold in the 100-meter butterfly, but also she broke the world record for women in the event. And Vollmer didn’t even qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
After her stunning performance in the pool, Vollmer shared this picture on Twitter:
Along with it, she wrote
: “I finally got to see my family :) I cried when I hugged them, it's been such an amazing journey!”
It’s often the moments outside of competition that are the most touching, as Vollmer displayed so eloquently with a tweet—and, yes, an emoticon.
U.S. Olympic swimmer’s gold medal video goes viral.
Athletes on the U.S. Olympic swimming team joined an elite group that includes President Obama, Mitt Romney, and Cookie Monster, as people (or furry monsters) in viral videos featuring Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song “Call Me Maybe.”
In the lead-up to the games, nearly every member of the team took part in the video in which they lip-sync to the song. According to the USA Swimming website
, the team did it to blow off a little steam. The video, which was posted last Thursday, has more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.
‘Happiest Olympic Worker’ goes viral.
If you like that dry British wit, you’ll love this video of an Olympics worker who, in the moments leading up to Friday’s opening ceremony, was given the task of whipping the crowd into a frenzy. So far, the video captured by an onlooker has more than 500,000 views on YouTube.