U.S. Olympians see Twitter followers skyrocket during Games

The dominance of the Americans in swimming and gymnastics during the first half of the London Games is evident with the massive number of new Twitter followers for the most-recognized medal winners.

Most Olympic fans wouldn’t be surprised to see that swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte came away with huge numbers following not only their success in the pool, but also the amount of air time they received. Phelps has gained nearly 1 million Twitter followers in the last two weeks, while Lochte chalked up more than 750,000. Missy Franklin was the big winner of the female swimmers with more than a quarter million new followers for the 17-year-old (see chart below).

The success of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team led to some overnight sensations and a new nickname. The “Fierce Five” all saw more than 100,000 new followers each, with all-around champion Gabby Douglas leading the way with nearly 600,000 new followers.

On the international side, some of the biggest Twitter stories have come from athletes who haven’t medaled. The controversy surrounding the harassment of British diver Tom Daley has led to a large spike in supportive followers, and inspirational South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the “Blade Runner,” also has added nearly 100,000 new followers after his historic appearance in the Games. Sprint icon Usain Bolt had added more than 500,000 new followers even before his historic victory Thursday in the 200 meters.

Listed below are the Twitter followers for the official pages of notable U.S. Olympians on the day of the opening ceremony on July 27 compared to Thursday.

Twitter Followers Friday, July 27 THURSDAY AUG. 9 ADDITIONAL FOLLOWERS
SWIMMING AND DIVING
MEN
Michael Phelps 292,207 1,227,843 935,636
Ryan Lochte 143,674 897,783 754,109
Nathan Adrian 13,124 118,173 105,049
Brendan Hansen 10,195 38,290 28,095
Conor Dwyer 8,439 42,410 33,971
Cullen Jones 19,419 45,182 25,763
Ricky Berens 12,336 37,622 25,286
Matt Grevers 23,242 39,107 15,865
Tyler Clary 6,180 21,860 15,680
WOMEN
Missy Franklin 82,342 341,067 258,725
Rebecca Soni 18,109 69,167 51,058
Dana Vollmer 9,693 59,795 50,102
Allison Schmitt 3,577 49,397 45,820
Natalie Coughlin 58,644 88,399 29,755
Elizabeth Beisel 6,647 20,392 13,745
Jessica Hardy 15,229 26,281 11,052
 
GYMNASTICS
MEN      
Danell Leyva 13,703 66,076 52,373
WOMEN      
Gabby Douglas 35,754 600,967 565,213
Jordyn Wieber 62,457 438,030 375,573
Aly Raisman 39,966 382,413 342,447
McKayla Maroney 35,612 322,674 287,062
Kyla Ross 25,690 183,912 158,222
 
TRACK AND FIELD
MEN
Tyson Gay 37,865 53,735 15,870
WOMEN
Lolo Jones 182,855 287,350 104,495
Allyson Felix 51,869 85,298 33,429
Sanya Richards-Ross 29,830 58,735 28,905
Kellie Wells 7,395 28,361 20,966
Carmelita Jeter 8,924 21,232 12,308
 
BEACH VOLLEYBALL
WOMEN
Misty May-Treanor 88,188 133,980 45,792
Kerri Walsh Jennings 83,668 110,088 26,420
 
INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES OF NOTE
Tom Daley (Great Britain/diving) 344,632 1,170,866 826,234
Usain Bolt (Jamaica/track) 634,092 1,174,411 540,319
Jessica Ennis (Great Britain/track) 213,410 602,247 388,837
Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain/cycling) 296,782 510,299 213,517
Oscar Pistorius (South Africa/track) 54,822 125,193 70,371
Yohan Blake (Jamaica/track) 7,222 64,143 56,921

Note: Charts do not include Olympic athletes who are more known for the teams and leagues in which they usually compete, such as NBA players and professional tennis players. Sources: SportsBusiness Journal research, Twittercounter.com

Return to top

Related Topics:

« Previous  |  Main  |  Next »
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug