SAN DIEGO, July 26, 2012 – Twitter was around in 2008, but it was hardly a factor during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Four years later, there are 500 million registered accounts on Twitter, with 150 million of those accounts belonging to what Twitter considers “active users.” And since there isn’t anything that prevents a person from reading Twitter streams without having an account, Twitter will become a major source for Olympic Games news and insights.
Part of Twitter’s allure is the first person, personal aspect of the communication. Among those millions of users are hundreds of athletes who will compete in the Games. Most are in the age group where social media is simply a part of their daily lives. Fans and supporters will be able to get their insights and observations straight from the source, and even communicate in real time with these athletes on a world stage.
The International Olympic Committee issued a set of social media guidelines that apply to the athletes. They are “encouraged” to post comments during the Games. However, says the IOC, “Any such postings, blogs or tweets must be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist – i.e., they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants.”
The IOC goes on to say that “postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images.”
This still leave plenty of room for entertaining comments, cheerleading, personal insights and random thoughts.
Communities offers this list of the Top Olympians on Twitter we recommend following:
- @MichaelPhelps and @RyanLochte – American swimmers who will command a lot of attention on the world stage.
- @NatalieCoughlin and @FranklinMissy – American women’s swimming hopefuls
- @ItsStephRice – Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice.
- @kevinlove, @KDTrey5, @KingJames, @carmeloanthony, and @CP3 – Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul of the USA men’s basketball team aren’t just pros on the court, they are all pros on Twitter too.
- @Candace_Parker and @catchin24 –Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings of USA women’s basketball. Parker is a twitterholic.
- @lolojones –American hurdler Lolo Jones, known for being forthright to a fault. She announced she was still a virgin at 29 on Twitter.
- @TysonLGay and @justingatlin– Bolt’s main competition and American sprinting stars.
- @ashtonjeaton – Decathlete Ashton Eaton might be the breakout star of the Olympics in the footsteps of Bruce Jenner. Watch a Wheaties box near you.
@usainbolt – Jamaican sprinting champion Usain Bolt.
- @VCampbellBrown - Veronica Campbell Brown three time gold medal sprinter from Jamaica. Tweets full of spiritual inspiration.
- @PaulajRadcliffe - Britain’s great women’s marathon champion.
- @runmeb- Meg Keflezighi, USA marathon champion. Meb interacts with fans, updates them on training and shares his faith.
- @OscarPistorius - South African sprinter, first to compete on prothetic legs.
- @NickSymmonds – Symmonds is the USA’s 800-meter hopeful.
- @AllISeeIsGold – Jordan Burroughs, American heavyweight wrestler is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and a future MMA/UFC star.
- @juanmata10 – Spain’s Juan Mata Garcia, soccer player for Chelsea FC.
- @Nr92 – 20-year-old Neymar of Brazil is one of the world’s most talented soccer players.
- @hopesolo – USA women’s soccer goaltender and former Dancing With The Stars competitor. She got plenty of Twitter practice and followers while on DWTS.
- @jordyn_wieber, @gabrielledoug, @J_Horton11, @JohnW_Orozco and @DanellJLeyva– America’s top female and male gymnasts on Twitter.
- @jamalherring – Captain of the USA Boxing team and a staff sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. Like many boxers he’s a talker and loves Twitter. He frequently trades witty tweets with women boxer @ClaressaShields
- @marlen112boxing and @QueenUnderwood – Marlen Esparza and Queen Underwood, USA women’s boxers.
- @markcavendish, @hornerakg, @taylorphinney, @f_cancellara - Cyclists are almost as crazy about Twitter as boxers. A few of the cyclists to follow including American Chris Horner and the Brits’ favorite son known for speaking his mind, Manx Missile Mark Cavendish.
- @HolleyMangold – 16-year-old USA women’s weightlifting phenom.
- @CaroWozniacki, @DjokerNole, and @andy_murray – Tennis players
- @leyvastowel – Hands down the wackiest Olympics related Twitter account. American gymnast Danell Leyva has a lucky towel and it rarely leaves his side. This account claims to speak for the towel, “The true star of American gymnastics.” Not many tweets posted yet but it’s promising.
General Olympic Twitter accounts you may want to follow for the latest updates:
Did we miss one of your favorites? Add your recommendation to our list in the Comments section. Let the Games and the tweets begin!
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She writes on professional cycling and covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
USA Basketball Men’s National Team members, from left, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul celebrate after defeating the Dominican Republic 113-59 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on July 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jason Bean)
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