Even with a staggering list of difficult guidelines to follow, Canadian athletes will still be taking to Twitter in the lead up to and during the Olympics.
And if the past few weeks any indication, they’ve got a lot to say.
As chronicled last week by The Globe’s Paul Waldie, the International Olympic Committee has told competitors here in London that they can’t report on competitions or use Olympic related images or mascots on social media, meaning they’ll have to get creative to continue tweeting throughout the Games.
Canadian Olympic Committee director of communications Dimitri Soudas said Wednesday that, despite those limitations, they still want their 175-plus athletes on Twitter to be active and interacting with each other and those back home.
“The COC encourages and supports athletes at the Olympic Games to... post, blog and tweet their experiences,” Soudas said. “We want athletes to be able to share their stories and Olympic experiences and connect with their fans around the world.”
He added that “blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of the Games... be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images.”
Staying within those guidelines shouldn’t be a problem for these 10 members of the Canadian team, all of whom make good follows for an athlete’s perspective of being in the middle of it all:
1. Adam Van Koeverden, sprint kayak (@vankayak): Three time Olympic medallist doesn’t race until later in the Games but will be pumping the tires of his fellow athletes
2. and 3. Justyn and Ian Warner, men’s 4x100-metre relay team (@justynwarner, @coverground): Markham, Ont., brothers who sprint together are very active and unique in their tweeting. Must be the fast fingers.
4. Jessica Zelinka, women’s heptathlon and hurdles (@jessicazelinka): One of the few multi-discipline track athletes this year, Zelinka also has a strong Twitter presence.
5. Carol Huynh, women’s wrestler (@huynhcarol): Attempting to repeat after winning gold in Beijing.
6. Milos Raonic, men’s tennis (@milosraonic): Rising star already has a sizable following but has been active in interacting with fellow Olympians.
7. Christine Sinclair, women’s soccer (@sincy12): Canadian captain one of many members of team on social media.
8. Simon Whitfield, men’s triathlon (@simonwhitfield): Two time medalist and 2012 flag bearer will have one of more interesting experiences at Friday’s opening ceremonies.
9. Ryder Hesjedal, cycling (@ryder_hesjedal): Grand Tour winner at the 2012 Giro d’Italia hoping to add to his 2012 success.
10. Alexandre Despatie, diving (@ADespatie): Two time silver medalist tweets often – in both languages – and is making a remarkable comeback from a scary head injury last month.
For more Canadian Olympians to follow, visit https://twitter.com/#!/CDNOlympicTeam/olympic-nominees-2012