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Opinion

What TikTok Made Cool: The Olympic Games

So in all fairness, the Olympic Games are already very cool. Some of this years’ competitors are as young as 12 and 13, and that in itself is extremely impressive. Olympic coverage isn’t typically aimed at the younger generation, yet TikTok is now her to make the games accessible and exciting for everyone.

This year is the first year that TikTok has been around alongside the Olympic Games, with its popularity really booming over the past year or so. We already know that TikTok can very successfully build hype around sporting events – take the UEFA EURO 2020 for example. 

Sponsors of the Olympic teams are also using TikTok to their advantage. For example, Ralph Lauren, which is sponsoring the US Olympic team, gifted all of the athletes on the squad with Ralph Lauren sporting apparel. Members of Team USA have excitedly shared content featuring their gifted items on their TikTok pages, in some cases encouraging views surpassing half a million. 

As well as sharing TikTok videos featuring gifted sporting goods, athletes and sporting enthusiasts have been using Olympic hashtags on their videos which have been viewed billions of times. The hashtag #tokyoolympics has surpassed three billion views, and #tokyo2020 has upwards of one billion views. These extremely popular hashtags allow millions of people to connect and view a wealth of content surrounding the Olympic Games.

Short-form highlights

As always, the highlights from each day’s Olympic events are covered on television so that you can digest the most exciting picks from the day. However, many of us would rather unwind with a TikTok scrolling session at the end of the day as opposed to sitting on the couch in front of the television – typical Gen Z. 

Luckily, TikTok is currently full of a vast amount of short snippets from the Olympic Games highlights. From 10 second long clips of gold medal-winning diving, to full synchronised swimming sessions which utilise the recent feature that allows TikTok videos to be up to three minutes long. TikTok allows us to consume as much or as little Olympic coverage as we want, in a form that we enjoy digesting. 

Behind the scenes

Not only can you access a variety of sporting highlights on TikTok, but many Olympic athletes have also taken to the app to share their ‘behind the scenes’ point of view from Tokyo’s Olympic village. An important part of the Olympics for the athletes is the fact that for the duration of the event, they move into a dedicated Olympic village crafted for all of those who are involved in the games. If it wasn’t for TikTok, we may not know about the villages’ unique cardboard beds or the fact that in their spare time, athletes can be found getting a manicure in the Olympic villages’ nail salon. 

What’s great about TikTok is it allows users to feel connected to their passions in a way that they may not have been able to previously. With behind-the-scenes content from athletes, sporting enthusiasts are able to feel a more personal connection to their country’s team, as well as accessing sporting content at any time of the day with just a click of a button and a scroll through the For You page. 

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