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Selfie Olympics: How Celebrity Autographs Are a Thing of the Past

Photographer Maria Plotnikova told Bird In Flight about the phenomenon she observed during the Rio Olympics — a selfie epidemic among athletes and their fans.

Maria Plotnikova 32 года

Born and raised in Moscow, spent the past five years in South America. Worked as a sports photographer and photojournalist in the Russian media, currently freelances, works with Bigpicture.ru.

— The journalists of the Brazilian newspaper O Globo have recently studied the statistics and concluded that the Rio Olympics became the most Instagrammed event in the history of humanity. 916 million pictures with Olympic hashtags is no bullshit.

What is more interesting, during these Olympics we observed the end of an era of classic autographs, old school ballpen signatures — on a ticket, on a T-shirt, or on a flag. The desired hook was replaced by ‘selfigraphs’: after the competition, athletes enjoy approaching the fans to take pictures with the front-facing cameras on their smartphones. The selfie-ization of space has reached a new level — it is highly likely that in the nearest future stadium stands will be rebuilt, so that the audience could easily reach their idols. In Rio, this was easy to do only in some arenas — it was easy to take a selfie with athletes competing in volleyball, handball, football, fencing, or wrestling, and the audience who watched water sports, gymnastics, cycling races had to put up with the limitations.

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