Updated on 01/16/2023 at 2:39 p.m.
- Olivia Dunne is a gymnast. But he’s also a social media star.
- In one of his athletic performances, these two worlds have now collided.
- And the hype surrounding the 20-year-old is taking on ominous characteristics.
Olivia Dunne knows how to sell herself. She has 2.8 million followers on Instagram and more than six million people follow her on Chinese social media platform TikTok. A few days ago, 10.5 million people watched a video in which she performs a balancing act. According to industry website on3.com, the gymnast is one of the wealthiest college athletes with an estimated net income of around $2 million.
These are numbers that many Olympians can only dream of. Social media has long been a part of the sports world. Those who master the follower keyboard can look forward to sponsorship and advertising deals that wouldn’t be possible without Instagram and Co., especially for athletes in sports the world only seems to care about every four years. on the occasion of the Olympic Games. Games.
Olivia Dunne is a social media star
Gymnast Olivia Dunne is a great example of how to use social media to make an athlete famous. She is not currently among the world or national leaders in her sport. Although she was on the U.S. national team roster as of 2017, as of 2020 she has only competed at the collegiate level.
Your social media success hasn’t hurt. Every day she entertains her growing number of subscribers on various channels with pictures and short video clips in which she moves her lips to songs, does gymnastics or dances. And her fans celebrate her for every video.
For example, some want to know if the mat on which she does her splits is for sale. A fan writes, “If she doesn’t reply, we’re engaged” and immediately begins planning the wedding. Of course, sexist remarks dominate the comment columns of their photos and videos.
But Dunne, like many other women in public, has learned to deal with it. It’s the price attractive young athletes are often willing to pay to make millions through social media. In a world where women in sport still normally earn much less than men.
On social networks, sex sells
And of course, Dunne knows how to show off her body very skillfully. She is a gymnast, she is part of a sport in which the female body has always been observed – to put it as neutrally as possible. Every female athlete should be free to decide how much skin she wants to show, both on the gym mat and on social media. This has also reached associations and individual athletes like Germany’s Sarah Voss are now doing gymnastics in full suits.
Nevertheless, of course, the following still applies, especially in social media: sex sells. And that dynamic is harnessed by Olivia Dunne and many other social media stars. This way, reach and revenue can be increased, and the sport often benefits as well. The more its protagonists are known, the better it is for sport, for college, for associations.
The hype about Olivia Dunne is reaching worrying proportions
However, why the Olivia Dunne case shows that a large social media presence can also have negative effects becomes apparent when Dunne leaves the digital space. On January 8, 2023, ex-gymnast and silver medalist Samantha Peszek tweeted a video of herself exiting an indoor arena after a competition between Dunnes Louisiana State University and Utah.
It features hordes of young men and teenagers screaming for Olivia “Livy” Dunne. These are images like the ones you know from boy band concerts in the 1990s, except this time the boys are going crazy. Peszek describes the feeling of walking through this crowd as “scary, disturbing and grumpy”.
Dunne fans also reportedly caused disruption in the venue. The mother of another gymnast also reports that her daughter was treated with contempt. Among other things, he was told: “You are not Livy, but if necessary you do it too.”
Even the police were called in to escort Olivia Dunne and her teammates safely to the bus and keep the crowds at bay. Dunne himself later tweeted, “I will always respect and love your support, but when you come to a competition, be respectful to your fellow gymnasts and the gymnastics community. We’re just practicing our job.”
Dunne in the social media trap
Dunne’s tweet shows the tension in which she operates: On the one hand, she depends on her fans. They secure their income. On the other hand, Dunne is an athlete and obviously sees a responsibility to her teammates and the gymnastics community. This is a problem that probably won’t be solved with an Instagram tweet or story.
Her mother tries to replace Dunne: “It’s not okay to blame athletes/celebrities when fans misbehave. In a sport where all the girls only wear leotards, Livy stops suggesting that because of her clothes deserve all the trouble. Stop blaming girls for boyish behavior.”
Two days after her own tweet, Olivia Dunne retweeted another gymnast, Alyona Shchennikova. She writes: “Athletes are people too. 393 people like this.
- Outkick.com: Utah gymnast’s mother claims to disrespect her daughter as Olivia Dunne fans pour into arena, column
- Twitter: Olivia Dunne
- Twitter: Katherine Dunne
- Twitter: Samatha Peszek
- Instagram appearance of Olivia Dunne
- TikTok appearance by Olivia Dunne
- on3.com: Who is in the top 10 On3 NIL ratings of female athletes?
- bild.de: Fanatical fans harass sexy gymnast – police operation
- ny-times.com: New Recommendations for College Athletes Resurrect an Old Concern: Sex Sells
- Herald Sun: Gym sensation Olivia Dunne sparks ‘disturbing’ scene outside college meet
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