‘Team USA’ Channel is YouTube’s Attempt To Share In the Olympic Spirit

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Quick, name five athletes competing in the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia. Nope, Lindsey Vonn isn’t competing due to injury. Okay, so you pretty much have that red-haired snowboarder dude — Shaun White — and that’s likely it. Don’t feel bad  though — YouTube now has your back. Because NBC has a total Draconian lockdown on all livestreams and feeds relating to the Olympics in the U.S.A., YouTube is getting in on the games by focusing on the backstories and characters involved.

The channel, called TeamUSA, also has links to Google+ activities with the athletes and other special stories geared around the drama of the games. Specific stories of interest tend towards the ones involving the openly gay athletes who are entering tense waters as Russia recently put a ban on L.B.G.T.-themed actions or discussions in front of minors.

There are only a few videos posted to the YouTube-ran channel at the moment, but as the countdown timer posted on the site reminds us — there are still 30 days until the games begin.

The move by YouTube is a response to not only the criticism they took from NBC during the summer Olympics, when much of NBC’s primetime coverage was made anticlimactic by videos posted online in real time, as opposed to television’s time delay, but also NBC declining them as a partner for the winter games.

Didn’t think you gave a damn about the Winter Olympics? Well you just might after you get to know the lives and stories of athletes who have trained their whole lives just to mess up your NBC broadcasting for two weeks in February.

Here’s more Olympic-tinged reporting:

Smosh Games & Node Compete In First-Ever ‘Video Game Olympics’: Who Will Take Home The Gold?

How the 2012 London Olympics Played out on YouTube [INFOGRAPHIC]

2012 London Olympics: Michael Phelps Takes Gold Medal in Social Media

5 London 2012 Olympic Videos that Go for Viral Gold


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