Olympics 2012: 10 Best Olympic Athletes to Follow on Twitter
Welcome to the most interactive Olympic Games. We are only in day three of the 2012 London Olympics, and the athletes from almost every country represented are sharing their thoughts and feelings with their fans.
The truly amazing part of this communication explosion is that it is in most cases in real time. Of course we don't get tweets from the athletes while they are participating in events. However, it does not take long for them to find their phones after they finish competition.
The great part of this communication exercise is that fans can share instantly their favorite athlete’s thoughts with others. This constant stream of behind-the-scenes information gives fans an access they have never had before at an Olympic Games.
So which athletes are the most prolific tweeters?
The easy ones to follow are NBA Stars Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, who are giving out constant content on Team USA Basketball. Tennis stars Serena Williams and Roger Federer are frequent tweeters as well.
But there are plenty of great athletes, some not yet household names, who are worthy of checking out during the Games. Here are ten of the most active and fun Olympians to follow during London Games.
10. Usain Bolt (@usainbolt)
He has a great sense of humor
World-class sprinter Usain Bolt was the Golden Boy of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, where he brought Jamaica the gold in both the 100- and 200-meter races as well as being part of the gold medal-winning 4x100-meter relay team.
He will once again be the focus of the track-and-field competition in London.
His Twitter handle is @usainbolt, where he loves to joke with fellow sprinters and upload plenty of photos.
9. Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps)
Not shy about tweeting
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Swimming great Michael Phelps has become a Olympic icon.
He only needs two more medals to overtake Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, who collected 18 medals over three Olympics between 1956 and 1964.
While Phelps is not the dominant force that he was four years ago in China, his rivalry with Ryan Lochte is very entertaining. Phelps can afford to have some fun in London, where he clearly is enjoying his last Olympic Games.
His Twitter feed @MichaelPhelps is full of family-related content, pictures, and lots of good interaction with his teammates.
8. Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Many of you know Parker, the first woman to dunk twice in a college game, from the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. In 2008, she married NBA player Shelden Williams. Candace is hoping to defend the National Team's gold medal from Beijing here in London.
Parker's Twitter handle @Candace_Parker includes plenty of information, like her favorite foods, team updates, and friendly messages with other athletes.
7. Veronica Campbell-Brown (@VCampbellBrown)
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Unlike her countryman Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown is not yet a household name. Still, she is a tour de force in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. She hopes to add to her collection of five medals with victories in London.
Her Twitter handle is @VCampbellBrown, and she is very much into her sport and her friends. She is very interactive with her followers, so if you tweet her, she could actually tweet back.
6. Paula Radcliffe (@paulajradcliffe)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Hometown girl Paula Radcliffe is a British long-distance runner who currently holds the world record in the marathon with a time of 2:15:25. Clearly the local favorite in the women's marathon, she is quite funny and very in tune with everything at the Games.
Her Twitter feed @paulajradcliffe can serve as a guide for London. Followers can learn where to eat and shop, as well as find out some facts about running.
5. Neymar (@Njr92)
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Neymar da Silva, commonly known as just Neymar, hails from Brazil and is currently one of the most dynamic footballers in the world. At just 20, Neymar could use the Olympics as his international launching pad.
His Twitter handle is @Njr92, where Neymar usually tweets in his native Portuguese. Easily translatable by Google, his frequent tweets and photos are a behind-the-scenes look for any fan.
4. Oscar Pistorius (@OscarPistorius)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
One of the most intriguing competitors in the Games is Oscar Pistorius. He is a 400-meter sprinter who has no legs below the knees. Competing with specially designed prosthetic legs, this South African is a true world-class runner.
You will also find him quite an interesting follow on Twitter at @OscarPistorius, fans will find him to be funny and inspiring.
3. Rebecca Adlington (@BeckAdlington)
Adam Pretty/Getty Images
The pride of her country, Rebecca Adlington is out to be the most successful Brit at the Games in her hometown. She has vowed to defend her 800-meter freestyle crown after claiming bronze in the 400-meter freestyle on Sunday night.
In addition to being a talented swimmer, "Beck" is also a world-class tweeter. She is funny and loves to interact with her international followers at @BeckAdlington.
2. Ryan Lochte (@ryanlochte)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Swimming's new golden boy, Ryan Lochte has already become the face of Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics. He and teammate Michael Phelps will square off in the pool a few more times over the course of the Games.
In the meantime both Lochte and Phelps enjoy some good-natured tweeting. Lochte is nearly as quick on his Twitter feed @ryanlochte as he is in the pool.
1. LeBron James (@KingJames)
While the Dream Team gets ready to go for the gold, LeBron James remains the King of Twitter. He seems to be following everything happening at the Games.
LeBron is giving his followers a tour of London, complete with pictures and plenty of behind-the-scenes tidbids with Team USA Basketball. Not sure that Coach K likes all the attention, but King James knows his Twitter followers love his view of the action. You can follow him at @KingJames.