Ashley Wagner isn’t going to be on Twitter during the 2014 Olympics. And it’s doubtful she will be checking Facebook to see her fans support either. According to NBC Sports on Tuesday, the controversial figure skater who just joined Team USA for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is promising not be part of social media during the event. With Ashley Wagner not sharing how she is preparing for the big moment on the ice, the fans are really missing out.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Twitter trolls want to happen. Offering no common ground on how hard it must be to compete in Sochi, some folks on social media pretend to know more about the Olympics than the athletes themselves and say nasty things to discredit the competitors. It's cyber bullying and driving Team USA athletes like Wagner into silence. This scenario has athletes assessing what they will say (or won’t say) while in Sochi and that seems so unfair to all those folks supporting the team. Fans want to hear from the athletes!
While fans could completely blame the trolls, they need to look closely at the confidence of Ashley Wagner too. If the athlete is so soft that she can’t handle a few nasty (and probably entirely incorrect) remarks about her skating by random people, how will she be tough enough to face her competition in Sochi? Psyching people out is part of the game when it comes to sporting events. Having the mental toughness is almost more important than a triple spin on the ice.
Kicking nasty trolls off Twitter needs to be a priority for the future, but in the meantime someone needs to volunteer to help Ashley Wagner and Team USA with their social media so the fans know what is going on. With all the tape delay planned for the Winter Games, it would be great to read some real time details.