For most sports, winning Olympic gold is the greatest achievement possible. Olympic athletes are under intense pressure. Not only are they representing the hopes and dreams of their country, but they also are keenly aware that this might be their only chance at being a champion. Professional sports award a championship each year, the Olympics crowns a champion every four.
During the Olympics, an athlete with little hype will put on a once in a lifetime performance and rise to become a household name. We wanted to witness the emergence of these remarkable athletes.
The bitly science team worked with The Guardian to create an interactive visualization of relative attention to athletes during the games. Follow along to see the changes in attention for winning, losing, and scandals!
Using the technology behind realtime, we monitor the social web’s attention on each of the 10,000+ athletes competing in the games. Every night, we collect the attention associated with each athlete over the previous day. We compare this attention to the attention the athlete received in the days leading up to the games. The athletes are then ranked according to how much new attention they receive each day. So, for example, we see a lot of clicks on LeBron James each day, but we always see a lot of clicks on LeBron James (he’s a rather popular young man)! So he has to receive even more attention than normal for him to rank highly on our list.
Once we’ve ranked all the athletes, early in the morning, we send the data for the top 100 athletes down the road to the Guardian to power part of their most popular athletes visualization. Their visualization shows, amongst other things, the new attention each athlete receives, how we rank them today and how we ranked them before the Olympics started.
Follow along with us here!9 months ago