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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth White

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Nanjing Youth Olympic Village Promotes High-Tech Socializing

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) continues to differentiate itself from the Olympic Games by giving the athletes as many opportunities for friendship and interactive experiences as possible. In order to best serve the socializing needs of modern young athletes, social media has been a big part of the YOG since its conception. The digital and social media undercurrent of the Games was brought to the forefront during the Opening Ceremony when International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach took a “selfie” with some of the athletes to participate in the #YOGselfie campaign.

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) continues to differentiate itself from the Olympic Games  ...

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) continues to differentiate itself from the Olympic Games by giving the athletes as many opportunities for friendship and interactive experiences as possible. The athletes say they love the Yogger device because it makes keeping track of new friends easy. It also helps them stay in touch after the Games conclude and they return to their countries. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Nanjing 2014 YOG provides free Wi-Fi Internet access throughout all the venues, shuttles and the YOV while the YOV Digital Center provides computers where athletes can browse their Facebook accounts, make video calls, watch competition videos and upload photos.

One of the most popular items with the athletes is the Yogger USB device specially designed by Stephane Doutriaux for the Nanjing 2014 YOG. Each participant and Young Ambassador at the YOG received their own Yogger upon their arrival at the YOV which they touch together to exchange contact and social media information. “It’s really cool! I already have maybe a hundred athletes’ contact and Facebook information,” said Egyptian athlete Hania Khattab. “We’ll definitely keep in touch after we go back to our own countries.”

Perhaps the most popular YOV destination among athletes is the selfie booth which provides colorful wigs and props for the athletes to use in order to take humorous photos with their new friends. Young Ambassadors Saltanat Ibraeva from Kyrgyzstan and Olga Ponomar from Russia take a look at their new photos after a selfie session. “We come to here to selfie almost everyday. Then we post our funny pictures on the Facebook to share with our friends. They always get a lot of likes and shares.”

As the pair get ready to leave the selfie booth, they touch their Yoggers to a special tag. “Every time we take part in an activity in the YOV, we touch the Yogger tag to accumulate points to win prizes. It also downloads digital information about each event.”

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