Perhaps 2 billion people watched part of the Olympics, affecting their lives to an extent equivalent to a fraction of the time they spent watching--let's say 4 minutes of their lifetimes per day, or about one hour. In addition, about 10,000 athletes were affected to an extent of, say, 1 month of their lives. That would give a total of about 2 billion life-hours / (24 hours/day x 365 days/year) + 10,000 life-months = about 230,000 life-years.
Human News aims to devote 1 character to each 40,000 life-years, or 1000 average lives. Thus, this story has about 230,000 / 40,000 = 6 characters.