A total of 530 athletes from 44 states will have the honor of representing the United States in the London Olympics. No matter how patriotic you are, you probably don’t have the time or desire to hunt down each athlete’s Twitter account and decide if it is worth a follow during the Games.
At the same time, you probably already know the names and stories of the main attractions – stars like Michael Phelps, LeBron James, Serena Williams, and so on. You can find the elite stars without much help, but you may not have the time to notice some of the under-the-radar Olympians who are worth a follow.
Below are ten such athletes. Since the 2012 Olympics are the first in which the U.S. sent more women than men to the Games, I’ve selected six women and four men for this top-10 list of tweeters.
(For a list of each athlete’s event, you can check out this link from Team USA)
Terrence Jennings, Taekwondo
@TKDTJ728 : “This is why I fall asleep on @EmiliaAthena. She is watching 16 and pregnant. #smh that show
Why you should follow him: Jennings is direct and personable with his tweets, and if you don’t follow him, he does know taekwondo. All he’ll need further is the address to your house to make a gentle sales pitch.
Evan Jager, Track (3000M Steeplechase)
: “Enjoying the morning & not doing a single thing before my afternoon Steeple session. That means morning coffee & pre workout coffee #sobomb” — July 11, 2012
Why you should follow him: Evan often interacts with fans on Twitter, and he has long, flowing golden blonde hair, if that’s what you’re into. He also competes in a sport that involves obstacles to race around. Running is difficult enough without obstacles to crash into and trip over, so let’s give Evan a little extra support.
Andrew Wheating, Track (1500M)
: “When I’m bored I think ‘I’m bored’ then I think ‘well hello brain, what’s up?’ then I’m entertained for the next 30 minutes…” — July 8, 2012
Why you should follow him: Running the 1500 meters must allow Andrew the time to develop his humor and wit, because he is one of the funniest Olympians on twitter. Perhaps he thinks up the humorous tweets he’ll post as he is running, which seems like a bit of an unfair advantage.
Jordan Burroughs, Wrestling
: “I can’t wait to TwitPic that gold medal to all of my followers!” — July 9, 2012
Why you should follow him: His feed features regular updates, and he did promise that his followers would get an up close and personal (digital) look at his gold medal. Oh wait, he has to win one first? I guess that gives his followers added incentive to track his progress.
Lashinda Demus, Track (Hurdles)
: “Why can’t I ride on a skateboard for nothing! My sons do it way better than me smh I really get frustrated about that lol. #truecompetitor” — July 9, 2012
Why you should follow her: She’s a proud mother with a confident personality. She’s also fond of sending out links to interesting news articles she comes across. You’ll feel connected to an elite athlete while at the same time making yourself more intelligent.
Mariya Koroleva, Synchronized Swimming
: “We drink ice tea out of jars! #coolkids” – July 8, 2012
Why you should follow her: Mariya likes to send out fun, lighthearted twit pics. She seems to have a bubbly personality, and like Lashinda, she has a penchant for enriching her followers with interesting articles and information.
Dagmara Wozniak, Fencing
: “daym #sotired totally in need of a #spaday” — July 11, 2012
Why you should follow her: No list is complete without having at least one fencer. Dagmara’s combination of personality and openness makes her worth a follow. She’s currently at less than 300 follows, so you can feel like you were one of the first to “discover” her if she ends up doing well in London.
Alyssa Anderson, Swimming
: “World’s best care package:) Thank you Penn family!!” — July 8, 2012
Why you should follow her: Alyssa is one of eight sibling duos on the U.S. Olympic team. She regularly interacts with followers. She also posts pictures of her experiences, so if you want to live vicariously through an athlete, Alyssa would be worth a follow.
Sydney Leroux, Soccer
: “I better not be the only one absolutely obsessed with Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange album. So talented & beautiful. #pinkmatter #forrestgump” — July 12, 2012
Why you should follow her: Sydney might be one of the most interesting Olympians on twitter. Her background image includes a picture and quote from Andy Warhol. She also takes an interest in music and other artistic endeavors, and posts plenty of pics.
Varvara Lepchenko, Tennis
: “Listening to Pink Floyd this morning make me want to go to their concert so bad !!!!” — July 6, 2012
Why you should follow her: You may have noticed a theme on here. I prefer to follow Olympians who do more than simply promote their products or sponsors, but who share about their lives and personal interests. Varvara follows that trend with tweets related to music, her love of tennis, and, of course, her pursuit of Olympic glory.