Facebook launches Olympics hub featuring Rafa, Becks, other top athletes

Since most world citizens haven't procured tickets to this summer's London Olympic Games, Facebook is bringing the games to you.

The social network launched Explore London 2012, a page dedicated to offering users a closer look at various athletes, teams, and sports through their Facebook pages.

With the presence of the likes of David Beckham, Rafael Nadal, and Michael Phelps, fans can "like" the athletes' pages and stay wired into the latest information and news "from inside the games," the site said.

Additionally, Facebook's official The Olympic Games page has already garnered more than 2.8 million likes, with photos from London's preparations, user polls, and news of the summer games. Historical pictures and notable past events reaching back to the 1908 London Olympics cushion the page.

Neither Facebook nor the International Olympic Committee (IOC) immediately responded to request for comment.

Facebook's Olympic integration has been in the works for a year and a half, according to TechCrunch. Only 250 of the more than 10,000 Olympic athletes are represented on Facebook, though the site expects to increase that number in the coming weeks, TechCrunch said, before the games begin on 27 July.

In a twist on its traditional maneuvers, Facebook will not be running ads on its Olympic-focused pages, the company told TechCrunch, to keep with the notion of the games' "clean venue," sans branding or advertisements.

The Olympic Games will also have a presence via Google+, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Social media could be a trap for some Olympics volunteers, though, who were warned early this year not to use Facebook, Twitter, or similar sites to share news or the whereabouts of athletes, celebrities, and politicians at the games.

Earlier this month, Google announced that viewers in parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa will be able to watch HD streams of the events live on YouTube. The BBC is also offering live streams of the summer's key sporting events, including the Olympics and Euro 2012.