Your guide to using social media and apps to experience the Sochi Olympics

Sunday, February 9, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:35 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 9, 2014
Some U.S. athletes are sharing behind-the-scenes photos online during the Sochi Olympics. This is a collection of pictures posted on the social photo website Instagram by the U.S. Olympic team.

A lot of us will watch the 2014 Winter Olympics on TV, but broadcasters and Olympics officials are betting on high interest in social and interactive coverage available as well.

We've pulled together a guide to help you follow the behind-the-scenes action along with the competition.

Twitter lists

If you like to follow athletes on Twitter, check out the U.S. Olympic Team's list of athletes in the games. Hit "subscribe" to follow them all, then unsubscribe with one click when you've had your fill. You'll get posts like this, from cross country skier Andy Newell.


NBC has also posted Twitter lists of competitors by events. With one click each, you can choose to follow athletes in cross country, snowboarding, bobsled, figure skating and hockey. (Find the rest here.)

Looking for the perspective of journalists covering the games? Kristen Hare of the Poynter Institute put together a Twitter list of journalists in Sochi, and NBC has a list of NBC Olympic commentators.


Athletes' blogs

Want to read about the experience in athletes' own words? Some of U.S. athletes are blogging during the games, and Team USA's website has links to those blogs.

Olympian Tim Burke has written about arriving in Sochi and getting settled. Here is a passage from his blog:

"After arriving in the dark yesterday, it was great to wake up this morning to a perfect blue sky and picturesque mountain views," Burke wrote. "This is clearly one of the prettiest venues in the world."

Read the rest of his post here.

Social collections from Team USA

Team USA's website features a page called "Social Podium," where tweets and Instagram pictures from the athletes are posted on a live feed. Viewers can follow along with the collection of posts or have the option to select up to three specific athletes or sports to follow at a time.

Instagram photos and videos

Whether you're already a fan of Instagram or not, consider checking out what Team USA and individual athletes are sharing on this social photo platform. Find the official Team USA account here, or search for your favorite individual athletes. The New York Times makes suggestions for athletes to follow here.The image at right is from U.S. skier Simon Dumont.

Smartphone and tablet apps

Here's an Olympics app guide from the website Digital Trends. It reviews apps that provide results, explain the rules of each sport, guide you through the action or help you learn more about Sochi.

Looking for a different approach to following Sochi?

We have some funny Twitter accounts to share as well, but be aware — they may include sarcasm, curse words or suggestive content. Browse at your own discretion. 

  • Sochi Winter Olympic Mascots: A fun and lighthearted view of the 2014 Winter Olympics from the mascots themselves. The polar bear, the leopard and the hare bring you along their adventures in Sochi.
  • Sochi Problems: With 270,000 followers as of Friday afternoon, Sochi Problems is a collection of tweets, retweets and links about issues, conditions and havoc in Sochi.  Seeing isn't believing with this Twitter account, as some content has been Photoshopped and altered.
  • Sochi Fails: Sochi Fails includes complaints about facilities and amenities for athletes, fans and journalists. Any problem in Sochi is fair game for attack by this Twitter account.
  • The Advocate: The tweets and links from this LGBT news source are adding a focus on equality to online Olympics conversations.

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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