24 Olympians to follow on social media ahead of Rio
With the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro just around the corner, athletes from all over the world will come together with the same goal: to win.
But what good is winning without being able to share it __ and the events leading up to it__ with the billions of people who watch the Olympics?
From USA's Simone Biles to India's Yogeshwar Dutt to Ireland's Katie Taylor, there are thousands of athletes' social media accounts fans can follow to get behind the scenes action from some of their favorite athletes, or some they haven't even heard of until now.
Here is a list of 24 athletes fans should follow on social media ahead of the Olympics:
@KieranBehanIRL , Twitter, Ireland Gymnastics
The Ireland gymnast was told he could never walk, let alone compete again after a botched surgery to remove a tumor in his leg when he was 10 years old. Now 27, Behan competed in the 2012 London Olympics and will compete again in Rio.
@Simone_Biles , Twitter, USA Gymnastics
Standing at only 4-foot-8, the 19-year-old gymnast is dominating the gymnastics circuit and just recently won her fourth consecutive U.S. all-around title over U.S. teammate Aly Raisman, a double gold medalist at the 2012 Games. While an elite athlete, Biles still knows how to have fun on social media, posting pictures of her and her friends going to concerts and late night frozen yogurt runs.
@Carlin_Isles , Twitter, USA Rugby Sevens
Isles, referred to by many as the world's fastest rugby player, will be a member on the inaugural USA Rugby Sevens team in Rio. Rugby 7s is a new sport at the 2016 Olympics. The Detroit Lions signed Isles to their practice squad in 2013, but he chose to leave in February 2014 to play rugby for the Glasgow Warriors.
@CBuchanan68 , Twitter, Australia BMX
A six-time BMX and Mountain Bike World Champion, Buchanan is taking her talents to her second Olympics after being a 2012 Olympic finalist. Buchanan had a half an hour TV show made about her journey to Rio that has been airing on FOX Sports in Australia. On social media, Buchanan shares her journey to Rio through pictures and videos. She's also an avid French bulldog lover.
@alliseeisgold , Twitter, USA Wrestling
Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic Champion, looks to be the favorite headed into Rio in the 74kg/163 lbs. division. Not only is the four-time World Champion a star on the mat, but also his charismatic personality off the mat has made him a fan favorite. He has two children and shares pictures of them both regularly.
@bubbawatson , Twitter, USA Golf
With golf making its return to the Olympics after a 112-year hiatus, Watson is "100 percent committed" to going to Rio __ unlike a handful of other golfers who have shown concerns or withdrawn their names completely. One of the top golfers in the U.S., Watson has a large social media presence and often uses it to share pictures of his wife and their two adopted children.
@Bryanbros , Twitter, USA Tennis
Bob will look to defend his 2012 gold medal in Rio with his brother, Mike. Rio looks to be the last Olympics for the pair who compete in men's doubles. On social media, Bob often features his three kids on and off the tennis court.
@stephenlambdin , Twitter, USA Taekwondo
Lambdin will compete in his first Olympics after earning the silver in the Pan American Olympic Qualification Tournament. On social media, Lambdin has been doing a countdown to Rio complete with customized photos. Lambdin once got asked for an autograph on the plane. The kid thought he was Kevin Love.
@danngoodfellow , Twitter, Great Britain Dive
Goodfellow is competing in his first Olympics this summer and will be competing alongside Tom Daley in the men's 10m synchronized diving event. His Twitter feed is often filled with videos and pictures of him and his teammates training in the pool.
@Dsabonis11 , Twitter, Lithuania Basketball
The Gonzaga star was chosen 11th in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic then subsequently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA rookie will be missing summer league and instead be playing in his first Olympics for the Lithuania basketball team. On social media, Sabonis took his followers behind the scenes for the NBA Draft and looks to be starting to do so for the Olympics.
@KatieTaylor , Twitter, Ireland Boxing
Credited for raising the profile of women's boxing in Ireland, Taylor has become an icon in the world of boxing and was the flag holder for Ireland in the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony. On social media, Taylor is known as outspoken __ recently openly questioning golfers who are choosing to skip the 2016 Olympics.
@UgHLyDuCkLiN , Twitter, USA Track and Field
South Jersey native English Gardner is one of track and field's biggest personalities. While last year Gardner finished seventh in the Olympic trials, this year she won the 100m at U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Gardner is very outspoken both in person and on social media. She claims she wants to become "the fastest woman alive."
@KeriannePayne , Twitter, Great Britain Open Water Swimming
Payne just missed out on earning a medal in her hometown in the 2012 London Olympics, but now is back and looking to compete as one of the two open water swimmers for Great Britain.
@Lisa_Darmanin , Twitter, Australia Sailing
Darmanin has her eyes set on earning the gold in the 2016 Olympics __ as stated in her Twitter bio. As well as sharing her Olympic journey on social media, Darmanin also writes a blog for the Australia Olympic Team in which she talks about her time preparing for the Olympics.
@EdwinaAlexander , Twitter, Australia Showjumping
Sponsored by Gucci and Jaeger-LeCoultre, Tops-Alexander is both one of the most successful showjumpers in the world as well as a fashion icon in the sport. Tops-Alexander helped to launch Gucci's first equestrian line and had a dual passion for horses and fashion design since high school.
@chostetler15 , Twitter, USA Track and Field
Now the national champion in javelin for the first time in his career, Hostetler is headed to his second Olympics. Hostetler has faced multiple injuries in his career, but now is Rio-bound holding the No.1 spot in the U.S. Self-proclaimed graphic designer on his Twitter bio, Hostetler worked on the project management team for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and has his own blog.
@scottmorgan_ , Twitter, Canada Gymnastics
Headed to his first Olympics, Morgan will be Canada's sole men's artistic gymnast in Rio. Morgan was Canada's second-most decorated athlete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he won four medals including two gold medals.
@KassidyCook1 , Twitter, USA Diving
Taking a year off from studying at Stanford University to train for the Olympics, Cook has been on the USA national team in 2010, 2011, 2012 and now 2016. Cook narrowly missed the 2012 London Olympics and then was out of competition for two years while she battled injuries. On social media, Cook acts like a normal teenager and likes to joke around.
@trialsyorke , Twitter, Canada Triathlon
Yorke is headed to his first Olympics after being named an alternative in 2012. The 27-year-old is one of three triathlon athletes competing for Canada. September 17, 2014 was proclaimed "Andrew Yorke Day" in the Town of Caledon after Yorke finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Yorke grew up and trained in Caledon since a young age.
@SirHuckPatton , Twitter, Northern Ireland and Great Britain Archery
A three-time World Champion archer, Huston will make his Olympic debut in Rio. The 20-year-old finished third in the European Championships in May. He will compete in the individual recurve event. On Twitter, Huston claims he will "be coming home with one of these" in reference to a tweet showing the 2016 medals in Rio.
@DuttYogi , Twitter, India Wrestling
Winning a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics for 60kg freestyle, Dutt is back for another shot at claiming the gold medal. One of an anticipated 110 or more athletes from India, Dutt will be participating in his final Olympics. On social media, Dutt has over 113,000 followers and often shares pictures of how he is training for the Olympics.
@michalsmolen , Twitter, USA Canoe Slalom
Rio will be Smolen's first Olympics. Smolen could have competed last year for Portugal, his native country, but decided to wait until he became a U.S. citizen and compete for the U.S. in 2016. On social media Smolen often posts pictures kayaking.
@aerceg5 , Twitter, New Zealand Soccer
A self-proclaimed "Muggle" on her Twitter bio, Erceg is going to her third Olympic Games at the age of only 26. Erceg plays on the Western New York Flash when she isn't competing for the New Zealand soccer team. On Twitter, she likes to share pictures of her teammates and looks like she will continue to do so with her national team in Rio.
@manuginobili , Twitter, Argentina Basketball
Known for his storied career with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, Ginobili will be going to his third Olympic games with the Argentine national team. Most of Ginobili's tweets are in Spanish, and so is his blog. The basketball star came back from a three-month hiatus in June and looks to be tweeting more than ever.
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