For the Summer Olympics in 2004, the International Olympic Committee barred competitors from writing firsthand accounts for news and other Web sites. The IOC's rationale for the restrictions is that athletes and their coaches should not serve as journalists — and that the interests of broadcast rightsholders and accredited media come first. Participants in the games could respond to written questions from reporters or participate in online chat sessions, but they may not post journals or online diaries, blogs in Internet parlance, until the Games were over.
However, Olympic athletes may be allowed to blog for the first time at the 2008 Beijing Games. The International Olympic Committee said Wednesday it is considering whether to let athletes post personal diaries on the Internet — so long as the Olympic village isn't turned into a "Big Brother" reality TV show.
The IOC athletes' commission discussed the matter with the policy-making executive board Wednesday and expressed support "in principle" for blogging, but said more time was needed to study the issue. It proposed that athletes be allowed to blog, on condition they receive no payment, post their entries as a personal "diary or journal" and do not use photos, video or audio obtained at the games.
"Athlete blogs bring a more modern perspective to the global appreciation of the games, particularly for a younger audience, and enhance the universality of the games," the press group said.