Americans the ‘biggest twits’ at Olympics
By Ben Delaney in Boulder, Colorado | Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5.23pm
While the final tally of Olympic medals will not be known until the races are run, American athletes headed to London for the Games have already taken a sizeable lead on Twitter.
The United States Olympic athletes have more Twitter followers than any other nation, Twitter sports news compiler Tweetsport announced Tuesday.
Tweetsport looked at the 100 most popular Twitter accounts for each country. Based on this math, USA took top honors with 19 million total followers, and US Basketball star LeBron James was dubbed the “Top Twit” with 5 million followers.
Nearly all the London-bound American cyclists have Twitter accounts (see below for full list).
“Ten days to go and we are getting in the spirit of the competition with our Tweetsport Olympic Top 10s which are based on our own ‘faster, higher, stronger,’ measure for success which is ‘followers, funnier, official,’” said Tweetsport founder Eilidh Donaldson. “USA winning isn’t a surprise but LeBron’s numbers are staggering. He is virtually a country in his own right; in fact, he would have been second.”
The Top Olympic Sports, based on the highest number of followers for a single athlete, are basketball (James, with 5.4 million followers), tennis (Serena Williams, with 2.9 million), football/soccer (Juan Mata Garcia, with 1.1 million). Road cycling placed fifth (Mark Cavendish with 360,491) and track cycling ninth (Chris Hoy, with 88,065).
(Although retired from cycling and now under investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency, Lance Armstrong remains atop cycling’s Twit pile with nearly 3.6 million followers.)
Most of the USA Cycling athletes headed to London have Twitter handles.
Todd Wells, Sam Schultz, Lea Davison and Georgia Gould will represent the US on the mountain bike.
The US Olympic Mountain Bike team: (from left) Schultz, Gould, Davison and Wells
On the road, old man Chris Horner will be joined by the new generation of Timmy Duggan, Tyler Farrar, Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen.
For the women’s road events, Olympic champ Kristin Armstrong will be accompanied by former world champ Amber Neben, Shelley Olds and Evelyn Stevens.
On the track, Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed and Lauren Tamayo will represent alongside Bobby Lea and Jimmy Watkins.
In BMX, David Herman and Arielle Martin will be joined by a third athlete that USA Cycling has yet to announce.
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