1. Lolo Jones
Jones, whose social media success we profiled in May, is the standard bearer for Olympians on Twitter. She's honest, hilarious, tweets often, and is a world class hurdler for the United States.
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After months of hype, the 2012 Olympics in London will finally get underway this Friday. With two weeks of excitement, drama and athletic brilliance, much of the Olympic action and reaction will take place online.
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Social media will play a bigger role this summer than in any games before -- especially compared to the last summer Olympics, in 2008. Why? Social media's growth, influence and ubiquity has been exponential since '08. Facebook has gone from 100 million users to over 900 million. More than 400 million tweets are sent each day now, compared to just 300,000 four years ago. And YouTube has grown steadily too; its users now upload more than 72 hours of video content each minute.
As has become standard for major athletic events, Twitter will act as the digital sports bar for many fans. News will break there first. People will share and re-share compelling human interest features; fans will celebrate and debate each race and performance.
And athletes, the stars of the summer games, will connect with fans and provide previously unimaginable inside access. While International Olympic Committee restrictions on social media posts have some athletes frustrated, there will still be plenty to enjoy. But it all begs one question: Out of more than 10,000 Olympians, who should you follow?
Luckily, Mashable has you covered. From sprinters to swimmers, dunkers to divers, we've found 25 of the very best Olympic athletes to follow on Twitter this summer. Scroll through the gallery above to see Mashable's Twitter Olympic team.
Which athletes would you add? Let us know in the comments.
Thumbnail image via @lolojones
This story originally published on Mashable here.