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Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman in the world with a fresh Olympic record, was temporarily blocked from Instagram on Tuesday.
Thompson-Herah said she lost access to the app after posting videos of her gold medal-winning 100-meter and 200-meter races. It was a repeat "double-double" for the Jamaican runner, adding to 2016 Rio golds in each discipline. She is the first woman to defend both titles at once.
I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days
— Elaine Thompson Herah (@FastElaine) August 3, 2021
But all that didn't stop Instagram from taking it easy on her for copyright infringement. Thompson-Herah shared videos of her competitions with her 310,000 followers. Her story was stacked with shots from friends and family of the TV airing her race alongside congratulatory notes to her.
About seven hours after posting on Twitter of her ban, she wrote on her Instagram story, "my block is cleared" with smiling emojis.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) owns the Olympics and associated intellectual property, not individual athletes, and has strict rules on how it's used. Instagram does not allow users to post content violating someone else's intellectual property rights, and has eyes out for the big violations like during the Olympics. Athletes have had more success showing glimpses of life behind the scenes rather than footage of the actual events themselves.
The IOC will receive more than $4 billion in broadcasting rights for the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympics and current 2020 Tokyo summer Games, per Reuters.
Thompson-Herah broke Florence Griffith-Joyner's 100m record that stood since the 1988 Seoul Games. She was part of a Jamaican athletics team that swept that podium and is set to compete in the 4x100m relay on Thursday. If the Jamaica team qualifies, it will return for the final on Friday. The team won a silver medal at Rio in the competition.
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