Olympic (and Twitter) records

On the closing day of the 2012 Summer Olympics, we’re looking back at all of the memorable moments of the London Games: the wins, the losses, the drama, and above all, the Tweets. No matter the sport, Twitter was your front row seat for all the action.

We saw more than 150 million Tweets about the Olympics over the past 16 days. Let’s take a look at some of the big trends within that massive conversation.

The biggest moments of competition, as measured by Tweets per minute, 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) of Great Britain 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+ TPMThe 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 soccer 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:

  1. Usain Bolt (@UsainBolt)
  2. Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps)
  3. Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994)
  4. Ryan Lochte (@ryanlochte)
  5. Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug)
  6. Andy Murray (@andy_murray)
  7. Kobe Bryant (#GetKobeOnTwitter)
  8. Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake)
  9. Lee Chong Wei (@Lee_C_Wei)
  10. LeBron James (@KingJames)

With so many of the athletes on Twitter, we were also treated to some incredible perspectives of their historic accomplishments:

And which sports saw the most Twitter conversation? Whether you know it best as football, fútbol, soccer, or サッカー, the action on the pitch drove well over 5 million Tweets. Other popular sports were the swimming events, the track & field (athletics) events, gymnastics, and volleyball.

Finally, the thrill of Olympic sport just wouldn’t be the same without the over-the-top spectacle 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. Tonight’s Closing Ceremonies didn’t disappoint — with performances by The Who, George Michael and so many more. But it was the Spice Girls who stole the night, inspiring more than 116,000 Tweets per minute.

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

What do you say we do this again in Rio, 2016?

Posted by Andrew Fitzgerald (@magicandrew)
Manager, Editorial Programming