'Social media frenzy' forecast for Fairbanks games

A former Olympic weightlifter from Yukon recently found ‘a good-luck fax’ from a sports competition years ago and says times have definitely changed.
Young athletes from Team Nunavut enjoyed their gadgets at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse. This year, Team Yukon's social media liaison is forecasting an even bigger 'social media frenzy.' (Philippe Morin/CBC)

“We imagine it’s going to be something of a social media frenzy,” says Jeanne Lassen.

Jeane Lassen represented Canada at the 2008 summer Olympic games. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The former Olympic weightlifter from Whitehorse is now in charge of social media for Team Yukon in Fairbanks this year.

She says they’ll be using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their old-fashioned email newsletter to keep parents and fans up to date on everything Arctic Winter Games.

“Mission staff will be onsite with the athletes and they’ll be texting us right away what happens and we’ll be firing it out right way so it’s gonna be pretty instantaneous,” Lassen says. “And of course, we’ll have the athletes themselves, so if they go on Instagram and upload pictures, we’re gonna be able to fire them back out to everybody.”

Avoid hefty phone bills

AWG athletes can take part in the social media frenzy without racking up huge phone bills.

Lassen advises all athletes to turn off the phone capacity on their devices and strictly use Wi-Fi provided at the games venues.

So far, that’s the game plan for Team NWT and Team Nunavut as well, which could make for a lot of information.

“It’s pretty funny how things have changed,” says Lassen, who remembers going to the games herself in 1992 and 1994.

“I actually just moved recently and I was unpacking and I found a good luck fax from my first Junior World Championships. It’s just so hard, I think, for this generation of athletes to get their heads around the fact that... you didn’t talk to your parents the whole time you were at the competition.”

But Lassen says social media can provide a whole new experience for people at home.

“These games are heavily focused on the teenage athletes, so I think we need to get really involved with what they’re doing.”

Follow the hashtags

  • ​#AWG2014
  • #TeamYukon
  • #TeamNWT
  • #TeamNunavut

Team NWT, in its participant handbook, is encouraging its athletes to join in.

“The more people post and tag, the more exciting the online experience will be for everybody,” it reads.

The same handbook also adds a handy reminder. “Note that everything you tweet, post, or tag, is ‘on the record’ and may be viewed by media – so only tag what you want the world to see.”

To join in, follow the #AWG2014 hashtag, or hone in your team: #TeamNWT, #TeamNunavut or #TeamYukon.

And make sure you download the Fairbanks Arctic Winter Games app, courtesy of the 2014 host society, so you can keep on top of schedules and results.