Indian Twitter users are flooding the platform with a trend called #MemeOlympics, which hands out satirical 'medals' to high-profile figures

Indian Twitter users are flooding the platform with a trend called #MemeOlympics, which hands out satirical 'medals' to high-profile figures
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Olympics
Twitter users in India made the #MemeOlympics hashtag go viral. Getty
  • The #MemeOlympics hashtag has started trending after Indian users popularized it on Twitter.

  • The hashtag involves awarding satirical "medals" to various figures like actors and politicians.

  • It's one of many viral moments to come from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games commenced on Friday, the world watched and reacted on social media, with plenty of viral content, commentary, and memes. For Twitter users in India - a community colloquially called "Desi Twitter" - the games inspired a viral new trend.

As part of the "Meme Olympics" trend, Twitter users are making memes of some of the most famous Indian figures, ranging from Bollywood actors to politicians. The purpose of the meme is to give medals in fictional Olympic categories that can be complimentary or satirical.

According to an April 2021 survey by data platform Statista, India is the country with the third-most Twitter users in the world - an estimated 18.8 million users - behind Japan and the United States.

According to the Indian Express, the #MemeOlympics hashtag quickly started trending on July 25, and continued to do so across the next two days.

Some Twitter users used the trend to meme celebrities, popular culture moments, and fictional characters. For example, user @absoloutesatya used the meme template to praise Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh for his dress sense, while @Yash1701__ paid homage to actor Dilip Joshi from popular Indian sitcom "Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah," who won for "bringing smiles to millions of faces."

Others went more political with the format, as they used the meme to joke about and criticize politics and current affairs. For example, coupled with a tongue-out emoji, one tweet awarded Nirmala Sitharaman, the divisive Minister of Finance for India, with a medal for "best economist."

#MemeOlympics is just one of many viral moments that have spread across social media during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A TikTok posted by Team Israel Olympian Ben Wagner went viral on Monday after he and eight other teammates put the athletes' controversial "cardboard beds" to the test. Meanwhile, Julyana Al-Sadeq, who was representing Jordan in taekwondo, went viral on Twitter after users noted her likeness to pop star Lady Gaga.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

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