This has been one of most well read additions all Olympics, our social media column. Each day, a journalist from the University of Oregon’s track journalism program, curated by Lori Shontz, wrote about social media trends or issues of the day.
We embrace social media, as it is the way that our sport must reach out to new fans and current fans. Social media may be one of the ways our sport thrives in the future. Let us know what you think!
by Isaac Gibson
#TeamUSA was trending on Twitter, and I was hoping to see people talking about how dominant the women’s relay teams had been. Instead, the first thing I saw was the men’s 4×100 meter relay team with the crying Michael Jordan meme plastered on their faces. I immediately knew history had repeated itself.
In the past three Olympics, I have seen Usain Bolt win the 100, 200 and the 4×100 relay every single time, but the U.S. men’s relay team has not been able to medal since 2008.The U.S. men have somehow managed to disqualify themselves in every 4×100 at the Olympic Games.
The men dropped the baton in 2008; they were stripped of the silver medal in 2012 due to Tyson Gay’s drug ban, and now the baton exchange happened outside of the exchange zone.
The experience was terrible for the men’s relay team. Flags were draped around their backs, and a victory lap had been run when they learned that they had been disqualified.
“It was the twilight zone. It was a nightmare,” said Justin Gatlin, silver medalist in the 100. “You work so hard with your teammates, guys you compete against almost all year long. All that hard work just crumbles.”
However, the news was not all bad for the rest of the events. People were celebrating the win from the women’s 4×100 meter team and Allyson Felix capturing her fifth medal, making her the most decorated woman in track and field history.
Strangely, no one was talking about the U.S. getting silver in women’s pole vault. Jenn Suhr, the returning Olympic champion, awoke the morning of the final coughing up blood, according to a tweet from her husband.
Suhr still took part in the competition, but could not clear 4.70 meters. However, Sandi Morris, who just graduated from the University of Arkansas, was able to clear 4.85 which was enough to claim a silver medal.
“I know all of you are wondering how I feel about almost grabbing the gold on my last attempt…,” said Morris on her Instagram. “Well, it’s bitter sweet you guys. For a split second in the air I thought I was a gold medalist.”