The Olympics on Twitter

Monday, 13 August 2012

It’s been an amazing fortnight at the London 2012 and with the Olympic Games now over, we’ve taken a look back at all of the memorable moments of the London Games: the wins, the losses, the drama, and above all, the Tweets.

No matter which sport you enjoyed, Twitter brought you closer than ever before to the athletes and the action.

We have seen well over 150 million Tweets about the Olympics over the past 16 days, and we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest trends within that massive conversation.

The biggest moments of competition, as measured by Tweets per minute (TPM), were:

  • Usain Bolt (@UsainBolt) of Jamaica wins gold in the 200m sprint: 80,000+ TPM
  • Bolt wins gold in the 100m sprint: 74,000+ TPM
  • Andy Murray (@andy_murray) wins gold in the men’s tennis singles: 57,000+ TPM
  • Jamaica wins gold and sets the world record in the men’s 4x100 relay: 52,000+ TPM
  • Team USA beats Spain to win gold in men’s basketball: 41,000+ TPM

The biggest tweeting moments that came during the heat of competition (not at a medal-winning conclusion) included Kobe Bryant’s dunk towards the end of the USA-Spain basketball game, and Hope Solo’s (@HopeSolo) land-diving save in the women’s USA-Japan football match.

In addition to inspiring the biggest conversation spike with his 200m win, Usain Bolt also took home the record for being the most discussed athlete of the Games. But he had company — nine other Olympians garnered more than 1 million Tweets each:

The BBC coverage of the Games has been widely praised, with presenters joining the conversation on Twitter too. We’ve taken a look at who were the most mentioned BBC TV commentators and pundits on Twitter over the course of the Games. Here’s the top five:

With so many of the athletes on Twitter, we were also treated to their unique perspectives of the Games:

And which sports saw the most Twitter conversation? Football came top, driving over 5 million Tweets. Other popular sports were swimming, athletics, gymnastics, and volleyball.

Finally, the thrill of Olympic sport just wouldn’t be the same without the spectacles of the opening and closing ceremonies.

Both events drove an incredible volume of Twitter conversation, and experienced their own giant spikes in Tweets per minute. The closing ceremony saw performances by The Who, George Michael, Take That and many more, but it was the Spice Girls who stole the night, inspiring more than 116,000 Tweets per minute.

We love this photo taken of the final moments of the spectacle:

The Games have been an incredible experience. Like you, we were caught up in the roar of the crowd and amazed by what the athletes shared — and of course thrilled to watch the world come together on Twitter.

And don’t forget, London 2012 is only half way through - the Paralympic Games begin on Wednesday 29 August. Follow @C4Paralympics and @Paralympic on Twitter for all the updates ahead of what promises to be another awe-inspiring sporting event.