Twitter and Facebook provided insights into the most talked about moments on social media platforms from the past couple of weeks at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, analyzing a wealth of data that most likely consisted of people either cheering on their nations proudly or lamenting what could have been for medal hopefuls.
(and yes, the featured image for this blog post is from Team Canada’s victory from the men’s ice hockey tournament – Go Canada Go!)
Hockey Reigns Supreme
To no one’s surprise, the crown jewel of the Winter Olympics once again was ice hockey, reported by both Facebook and Twitter as being the most talked about sport throughout the Winter Games. The men’s tournament garners a significant amount of interest every four years due to the rarity of a true “best vs. best” competition in international hockey (and no, the World Championships do not count – many players decline invites due to injuries, fatigue, or mainly because they are still playing in the NHL playoffs!). The women’s tournament also generated a lot of social media chatter, particularly on Twitter, as the Canadian national team stunned the United States in a gold medal game that will be remembered for a very long time. In fact, four of the top five most talked about events were related to ice hockey, with Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu’s victory in men’s figure skating rounding out the top five .
Don’t Forget About the Other Sports
Hockey wasn’t the only sport that generated a buzz on social media sites; in fact, curling was the second most talked about sport on Twitter and the fourth most talked about sport on Facebook (once again, congratulations to both Canadian rinks on winning gold!), which might have something to do the the Norway pants carousel. Figure skating, for better or for worse, was second and third on Facebook and Twitter respectively. The use of “for better or for worse” is not meant to disparage the athletes that participated; rather, it’s an indictment on the “questionable” judging that seems to become a hot topic every Olympics, turning what should be a spirited competition into an event mired in controversy.
T.J. Oshie is an American Hero (or close to it)
Disregarding the hyperbolic heading above, there’s no doubt that Oshie was responsible for creating a huge buzz these past two weeks. Not only was he one of the most mentioned athletes (third most talked about on Twitter and second most talked about on Facebook), his Herculean antics in the United States/Russia round robin shootout generated the most amount of Tweets per minute, clocking in at 72,630 TPM. To put that into perspective: the second most popular moment on Twitter was Canada’s victory over the United States in the men’s semifinal ice hockey game, and that generated 47,600 TPM – 25,030 tweets per minute fewer than Oshie’s fantastic shootout performance.
It’s a shame the Olympics have come and gone so quickly, but the next couple of months should be ripe with social media sports chatter, as we have the following to look forward to:
- Start of the MLB Season
- March Madness
- NHL and NBA playoffs
- NFL Draft