Australian Olympians have indicated via Twitter that they plan to defy restrictions on the use of social media at the Winter Olympics.
The partial social media ban on Australian athletes participating in Sochi, Russia was introduced by the Australian Olympic Committee after a sub-par performance by the Australian swim team during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
An investigation of the team’s poor performance revealed that some athletes had been distracted by their social media interactions with fans.
This led the country’s Olympic Committee to roll out stricter rules on the use of social media. Athletes are not allowed to use social media on team buses when travelling to and from competitions. The committee has also imposed stricter rules on partying as well as socialising in Russia.
The rules have gained the ire of some Australian Olympians, such as snowboarders Scotty James, Belle Brockhoff and 2010 gold medallist Torah Bright.
“No social media, no partying and no personal devices allowed at the Winter Olympics for Aus team. Cheers Australian swim team…,” tweeted James.
In replying to the tweet, Bright said: “Good one! I’ll be breaking a few rules this time round!”
“Ditto,” Brockhoff added.
Meanwhile, Ian Chesterman, Australian Games chef de mission, still expects all athletes to follow the guidelines, saying that he has already spoken to them.
“The response back has been a very sensible one,” noted Chesterman, who described James, Brockhoff and Bright’s comments as “good social media commentary.
“’It’s not a blanket ban on social media … it’s while they are training and preparing for competition, which seems pretty reasonable to me.”