Twitter tells its Olympic story

Tue 14th of August 2012, filed under Internet News

The ten most popular athletes

Twitter certainly enjoyed a busy time during the London Olympics, with over 150 million tweets sent as users flocked to give their views and interact with their favourite stars.

Of course, some athletes naturally enjoyed greater attention than others, with Twitter revealing on their blog the ten performers who attracted more than one million tweets during the competition.

Unsurprisingly, sprint champion Usain Bolt headed the countdown, as he completed an unforgettable 'treble treble' by retaining the 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles he won in Beijing. As in the races themselves, Jamaican counterpart and training partner Yohan Blake was not far behind him.

Americans made up half of the list, with the duel in the pool between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte ensuring both comfortably hit the million mark. Phelps, in particular, will have received plenty of attention as he became the most decorated Olympian of all time.

They were joined by gymnast Gabby Douglas and basketball stars Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, with the latter managing to make the list despite not actually owning a Twitter account thanks to the hashtag #GetKobeOnTwitter.

The most popular Brits were Andy Murray, who beat Roger Federer to the tennis gold just a month after losing against the same player in an emotional Wimbledon final, and Tom Daley, whose diving bronze proved one of the country's favourite success stories.

The line up was completed by Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei.

Which events got the world tweeting?

Usain Bolt features heavily once again when you look at the most popular events during the Games. In fact, he takes the top two places in the tweets-per-minute (tpm) chart, with his 200 metres triumph attracting 80,000tpm. His 100 metres took slightly less, but still a mammoth total of 74,000tpm.

Murray's centre court redemption also proved a highlight for many, with 57,000tpm registered as he thrashed world number one Federer in straight sets.

Bolt is back at number four with the Jamaican relay team, who broke the world record in the 4x100 relay and inspired 52,000tpm in the process.

The inclusion of big NBA names in the US basketball team meant that they were watched very closely as they eventually sealed the gold medal against Spain. That final rounded off the top five, with 41,000tpm.

As a whole, the Olympics had an effect across many platforms, with Google figures reporting 46 per cent of UK Games-related searches coming from a mobile.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "This Olympics was memorable for many reasons, and Twitter will have been delighted to see so much engagement among fans and athletes. Twitter managed the strain of the increased tweet volume as well, which will encourage them looking ahead to Rio in 2016."

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