The 2012 London Olympics will be remembered for so many great events by some of the world’s most talented athletes. From the ‘Fab Five’ in gymnastics, to Michael Phelps becoming the most celebrated Olympian by winning his 19th medal, to Usain Bolt tearing up the track at lightening speeds, these 2012 Olympics in London are truly something to remember.
However, one of the most interesting aspects of the 2012 Olympic games is the presence of social media, being used by fans and athletes alike. Organizers described the games as the first social media Olympics, where both the athletes and fans took to Twitter to share their excitement about various events, posting live comments of what was happening and providing commentary to some of their most memorable moments.
Voices rose up in unlikely places, and star athletes became more human in only a matter of seconds. By simply checking the Twitter feed fans were able to see an instant reaction of gold medalist winners. Legends such as swimmer Michael Phelps, posted pictures of their medals on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and the images were re-tweeted over 14,000 times instantaneously.
Female Olympians dominated the social media scene in London, where seven out of ten top mentioned moments on Facebook involved females and athletes such as Jessica Ennis, Aly Raisman and Alex Morgan lead the field with the ‘buzzable bests.’
Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Usain Bolt also brought extreme social media numbers being the most talked about athletes on Facebook and Twitter during the first week of the Olympics. During the primetime broadcast of his race, Phelps’ win inspired 37,000 tweets per minute, only to fall second to Bolt who later topped Phelps’ record after winning the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints. Right now among Facebook users, Phelps has 6.2 million fans.
Twitter estimated that there were more than 50 million tweets about the Olympics, at a pace of 80,000 tweets per minute after Jamaica’s Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the men’s 200-meter sprint. Bolt officially became the most talked about athletes on the social network during the Olympic games.
Gymnast and all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas began the Olympics with about 14,000 followers and by the end she had a whopping 540,000 followers in only a matter of two weeks. The number of tweets soared during the team all-around competition and by the time the gold medals were handed out at North Greenwich Arena, Twitter vaulted to a rate that passed Mario Manningham’s game winning Super Bowl catch last season.
Celebrations also became a trademark of Olympic social media. Speed-demon Usain Bolt brought his signature pose ‘the bolt’ to London and it’s sweeping the Twitter sphere with hundreds of thousands of people impersonating his unique celebration stance. Athletes such as the ‘Fab Five’ and Mo Farah mimicked the pose and uploaded photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to show their enthusiasm and support.
Even Barack Obama is joining the conversation and becoming an active member in the world of social media. Earlier in the week the President tweeted congratulations to Phelps and spoke on the phone with the women’s gymnastic team. However after the start of the Olympics, it was the Queen of England who created the most buzz thanks to her Opening Ceremony skydive stunt that reeled in 1.2 million tweets commentating.