The New Jersey athlete has become an unstoppable phenomenon that is sweeping social networks with several million followers.
The relationship between sports and social networks is getting stronger. The line that separates one world from the other is getting thinner and many times it is crossed without the protagonists realizing it when they still have time to stop it. That’s probably what American gymnast Olivia Dunne, who has been caught up in a dangerous current that is wreaking havoc on college sports, is thinking.
Olivia, better known as ‘Livvy’, is famous for her prowess in her gymnastics exercises, but also for her ability to amass a following on her various social media accounts. The New Jersey athlete has managed to form a legion of fans more loyal than the fans of a soccer team or the voters of a political party. They idolize her and follow her in such a fervent way that they are making her life real chaos.
So much so that Olivia herself has begged them to moderate their behavior and relax their devotion to her figure, which has caused an unfortunate event in one of her latest competitions. Hundreds of fans attended an event in which she did not even participate due to a shoulder injury and the accesses to the sports facilities collapsed and even rebuked her team’s rivals, something that ‘Livvy’ herself was forced to criticize.
Dunne se ha convertido en una estrella en TikTok e Instagram donde cuenta con más de 8 millones de seguidores. Esta popularidad le ha llevado a recibir el apoyo de multitud de marcas para convertirla en su imagen a pesar de que todavía es una deportista que no ha salido de la universidad. Ya se calcula que gana millones de dólares al año y sus fotos, en ocasiones criticadas por sus llamativos atuendos o su poca ropa, han generado también un cisma dentro del deporte femenino ya que hay voces autorizadas en Estados Unidos que tildan sus comportamientos de ofensivos para la lucha de las mujeres.
Olivia Dunne’s rise to fame is fueling the earning power of college athletes
The danger of social medias
Olivia Dunne has become a star on social networks, especially on TikTok, where she has more than six million followers. Her success also extends to Instagram where she extends her run with two million other fans. This is causing the legion of her followers to cross the screen and make her appearance in real life to cause significant havoc in her day to day.
Her exercises and her gymnastics competitions are increasingly followed in the venues where they are held. However, the disaster occurred a few days ago during an appearance by her university team, the LSU, who were measured against the formation from the Utah undergraduate study center.
Olivia’s followers, with the aim of seeing her in action, met through social networks and thousands of fans of the popular gymnast attended this competition, overwhelming the situation since neither the venue nor security were prepared to give accommodate such a large number of people.
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Legions of fans took to the stands and outside the facility, chanting her name, cheering for her team, and charging hard at ‘Livvy’s’ rivals. However, the really serious part of the situation came when her followers learned that Olivia was not in that competition due to a shoulder injury. Her disappointment for not having managed to see her idol caused them to begin to rebuke the rest of the participants and even wait for the athletes to leave, especially the LSU team, to try to seek confrontation.
The police had to intervene to bring order and prevent the situation from escalating. It was even necessary to create a team of escorts to accompany them to the hotel where they were concentrating to prevent the madness of Olivia’s followers from causing a truly serious altercation.
This worrying event at the start of the season of the university gymnastics competitions has led LSU to the determination to hire a security team to accompany them during their travels and during their appearances. This has been confirmed by the team’s coach, Jay Clark, who has assured that Olivia will have special surveillance since there is fear that the crowd of fans that follow her could cause misfortune.
Thus, her function will be to be outside both the sports venues and the concentration hotels and even take charge of the bus that transports the squad to also avoid possible assaults on the road. The millions of people who live waiting for the photos and videos of ‘Livvy’ have caused real chaos around them. They admit that there is a security problem and that they have to work hard to fix it.
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LSU Gymnast Olivia Dunne Asks Fans for Respect After Disruptive Group at Utah Meet
The Olivia Dunne Phenomenon
Olivia Dunne is aware of everything that is being generated around her. However, the total fever that was experienced with her ‘non-appearance’ in that competition against the University of Utah has caused her to decide to take action on the matter herself. Therefore, she has broken her silence and has asked her fans to try to keep her calm.
“I will always appreciate and love your support, but if you come to a meet I ask that you respect the other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job.” What seemed to be just another icon on social networks has ended up becoming an uncontrollable problem.
However, ‘Livvy’ is having more problems with her success on social networks than caused by her legion of fans. The gymnast has become one of the first athletes in history to achieve significant financial gains despite still being in college. Although she has not fully disclosed what she receives from each course, she estimates that her income could even exceed two million dollars.
What could be considered a resounding success has opened a great debate about whether it contributes to promoting university sports and, therefore, the image of other athletes who are at the same level, or whether it marks a stain on the record due to to the accusations that the gymnast is receiving. And it is that some legends of American sports assure that her success is due to her facet as a model in social networks and not to her quality as an athlete.
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In fact, many of the attacks she is receiving also refer to the fact that her fame has been built on the basis of scantily clad photos and flashy outfits, causing a step back in the tireless struggle of women to make a name for themselves. in sport and to achieve total equality.
The legendary basketball coach Tara VanDerveer has criticized the growing success of Olivia, who has been one of the first athletes to sign a contract for image rights, the so-called NIL, while still in college. “I guess sometimes we have this swinging pendulum where we maybe take two steps forward and then take one step back.” That’s how tough she was in statements collected by The New York Times.
The Stanford technique, included in the United States Basketball Hall of Fame, harshly attacked the behavior set in motion by ‘Livvy’: “We are fighting for all the opportunities to compete, to play, to have resources, facilities , coaches and everything that goes with Olympic-caliber athletics and this is a step backwards.”
For her part, the New Jersey gymnast has been very proud of her progress both in and out of competition and assured that her contract was “seven figures.” After being All-American, an important recognition in college sports, in her freshman year, she made the Southeastern Conference honor roll as a sophomore.
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Now, after making history by signing one of the most important NIL contracts (name, image, and likeness agreements) in history, she puffs out her figure: “It’s something I’m proud of. Especially since I’m a woman in college sports. There are no professional leagues for most women’s sports after college.”
Olivia was able to sign this important relationship thanks to a regulation change that occurred in 2021 and that began to allow this type of union between brands and university athletes. In her case, she already works regularly with well-known companies on the other side of the Atlantic such as Vuori, American Eagle or Planet Fuel.
The growth of social networks has even led to the reform of sports laws and Dunne continues to defend that phenomenon such as his drive both university disciplines and the role of women, although sometimes they can cause unpleasant situations such as those carried out by his uncontrollable legion of fans.