Posted by: Ian Ross | February 16, 2008

Olympic Committee Sets Strict Rules For Athlete Blogging

It appears the International Olympic Committee (IOC) just doesn’t understand blogging.

In the past, Olympic athletes have not been allowed to blog. Yep, steroids and blogs were on the same no-no list.

Now, the IOC has had a ‘change of heart’ and blogging will now be permitted during the Beijing Olympics. What a great idea to reengage the public after years of doping scandals, vote buying and hyper-commercialization of amateur sports!

News flash. The athletes can post…. very little. There are serious restrictions that pretty much eliminate most of the content that an athlete can share with readers.  In fact, I wouldn’t call it blogging at all. The restrictions include:

  • No audio clips or videos of any Olympic events including competitions, ceremonies (opening, closing, medal) or “other activities which occur within any zone which requires and Olympic identity and accreditation card or ticket for entry.”
  • No interviews with or discussion about other athletes including fellow countrymen.
  • No confidential information about other people
  • No discussion of issues that are not-Olympic related
  • No photos that show Olympic events
  • No photos of competitors without their consent
  • No advertising or sponsoring
  • No domain names that use “Olympic”

I suspect only a few nervous athletes are going to dare navigate these waters with Big Brother looking over their shoulder. For those that do, their content will likely be pretty bland – breakfast menus, shout-outs to family back home and a daily ‘butterfly’ count until the big race.

This is a real missed opportunity for the Olympics to reconnect with sports fans.

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