To coincide with 100 days to go until the start of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the International Olympic Committee has launched the Olympic Athletes' Hub app, bringing the searchable directory of the social media activities of Olympic athletes to mobile devices for the first time.
In addition to providing aggregates of Olympians' Facebook and Twitter feeds on one easy-to-use platform, the Hub now also offers the content athletes publish on Instagram, the online photo- and video-sharing social networking site. Olympic fans can connect with the Olympians and join the fun via mobile devices, the web and smart phones. Athletes themselves can now text each other and the IOC directly, and vice versa.
"The new app and updates unveiled today are the latest example of the IOC's continued efforts to connect athletes with their fans," said Olympic silver medalist in fencing and current chairperson of the IOC Athletes' Commission Claudia Bokel.
"The Hub is a great tool for us athletes to interact with the public and even amongst ourselves. The new additions make it even easier for us to communicate in fun, innovative ways."
Vancouver 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim agrees. "The Olympic Athletes' Hub is a great way to connect with my fellow skaters and fans from all over the world," Kim said. "I'm looking forward to interacting with them."
Over 5,000 verified Olympians have already joined the Hub, and the number will continue to grow as the countdown to Sochi 2014 continues and word of the Hub spreads. A special section will feature the best content published by the athletes on a daily basis.
The Hub also offers fans the opportunity to unlock secret training tips from Olympic greats such as Joannie Rochette (figure skating, CAN), Steve Messler (bobsleigh, USA), Mark Spitz (swimming, USA) and Stéphane Lambiel (figure skating, SUI).
The more 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 Sochi 2014.
Following its successful launch at the London 2012 Olympic Games, chats with athletes will once again take place from within the Athletes' Village in Sochi, connecting fans and Olympians in real time.
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