Olympic canoeist SpinVox blogs through Beijing web bans

After access to her website was restricted by the paranoid Chinese government last week in Beijing, Anna Hemmings, six-time World Champion canoeist, competing for Team GB in the K2 Olympic event, is keeping her family and supporters up to date using SpinVox.

Hemmings has been keeping a blog for fans and family following her Olympic prospects, how she’s coping with the pressure of being in Beijing and the morale of the team. On 13 August she discovered access to her website had been blocked by the Chinese government, despite officials stating restrictions to the internet would be lifted for the period of the Games.

However, Hemmings is continuing to blog her way through the Olympics just by using her voice, mobile phone and SpinVox Blog.

On 13 August she wrote in her blog: “…The Chinese appear to have restricted a number of websites including my blog! I cannot access the web page here. So I can’t type these messages. Luckily however I don’t need to because my sponsors SpinVox have a service where I can call a number, speak my message and it automatically gets posted to the site within seconds. An amazing service and incredibly useful on an occasion like this otherwise I would be struggling to get my news to you so promptly and efficiently!”

The Beijing 2008 Olympics is the first time the International Olympic Committee has permitted athletes to write blogs. However, it has set out guidelines for blogging at the Games to ensure copyright agreements are not infringed. The guidelines include bans on posting any audio or visual material of action from the games themselves.

Anna, who was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in April 2003 and told she would never compete again, will race alongside Jess Walker in the K2 500m event – final Saturday 23 August.

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