The contrast in recent weeks between medal charts in the American media, with the United States in the lead, and those used in the rest of the world did not sound good.
A columnist for Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers scoffed at the “strange setup”. Another, from Yahoo Sports, just posted the column “Sorry, America: China leads the real count”.
As the Tokyo Games draw to a close, the United States can still get a head start, but American coverage is already trying to explain what happened.
The New York Times, speculating that the country is back in the field after dominating the last two editions, says it is “a step back after a long and difficult year”, with containment periods reaching preparation.
Hence the 4 in 100 “nightmare” as described by the Wall Street Journal and the frustration with skateboarding the United States “pushed so hard” to have at the Olympics, according to the NYT.
But the bigger issue is how that is reflected in NBC’s ratings, which have been described since the opening ceremony as “disaster” and again “nightmare” by Variety and others. Then there are several explanations, from the unfavorable jet lag to the withdrawal of Simone Biles.
But a parallel story, in the media reception of the Games, shows another reality for the American public – which is said to be changing from the nationalist fervor of the medals to begin with.
The turning point, it seems, was Bile’s famous shaking jump on July 27, which caused her to drop the evidence in a row.
NBC’s Today show reported that it had decided not to make the team final, but did not show the jump, which would ultimately only appear on TV overnight.
But that morning and throughout the day, the scene was seen on repeat by users in the US and almost all over the world on the Chinese social media platform TikTok.
One of them follows the jump to the end, with his own reaction: “My God, my God. Within hours it was viewed 1.2 million times, but now it is no longer available as the rights belong to NBC.
It was then that the Washington Post published, with a question in the headline, “Does TikTok Win the Olympics?”
The central idea is that today there would no longer be loyalty to a broadcaster, or even to a country, but to people. Searching for Games publications on the platform brings more scenes recorded by the athletes themselves than those taken from the official broadcast.
And TikTok users “love the bug”, above all else.
BuzzFeed concluded something similar, “Olympic TikTok is the best”. He reported that “there are TikToks of athletes sharing how laundry is separated for laundry and how the cafeteria is, types of food.” Also “The Olympics joke about the repression of sex at the Games”.
In the home stretch, the Olympic TikTok seems to have become a fixture, with lengthy accounts of the USA Today phenomenon on the NYT and the BBC.
The same program today received on Thursday (5) the women’s gymnastics team – and everyone dedicated themselves to setting up a stage for the platform. It’s live on the Today profile with Hoda & Jenna.
As Biles used his cell phone to record, the others taught the presenters to dance like silver medalist Jordan Chiles did successfully on TikTok, with a preview from Megan Thee Stallion’s “Cognac Queen”.
Conclusion from tech site Gizmodo: “Next time, let TikTok stream the games for once.”
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