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SBD Global/January 6, 2014/Media

Australian Olympic Committee's Social Media Ban Causes Outrage Among Snowboarders

Olympic Gold Medalist Torah Bright "has savaged the Australian Olympic Committee's ban on social media at the upcoming Sochi Games," accusing the organization's "trivial policies" of infringing on her sport and freedom of speech, according to Rosie Lewis of THE AUSTRALIAN. The 27-year-old snowboarder, tipped as one of the nation's best hopes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, said that "only she would control how she used social media." She said, "Let me enjoy the sport of snowboarding and share it with the world. Freedom of choice and speech are humanity's greatest gifts. I am the master of my social media. I am captain of my voice." Her comments come as newly appointed Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson labeled the AOC's ban "stupid and pointless." Wilson said that "elite athletes such as Bright must understand and comply with AOC rules." But, he added, forbidding social media in some venues "was a step too far." Wilson: "What they're trying to do is correct some of the failures of athletes in the past -- it's a classic overreaction." Bright "was not the only Olympian to voice her anger on Twitter." Fellow snowboarder Scotty James "blamed the Australian swimming team for the new restrictions," while snowboarder Belle Brockhoff said that she "would also be breaking the social-media rules" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/6).
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