By Aly Semigran, Hollywood.com Staff
There's a time and place where people from every corner of the Earth can come together to speak a universal language of unity. And sure, Twitter is great and all, but it's time for the Olympics! Both of these worlds will inevitably collide as not only everyone watching the 2012 Summer Olympics will have something to say about it on the social networking hub, but those actually competing in the games will, too.
Many of the U.S. athletes competing in this year's games have already been tweeting about their journey to London and keeping their followers and fans up to speed on their quest to the podium. Take, for instance, rising tennis star Lisa Raymond, who recently took to her Twitter to share, ""On the plane to #london2012 , Carl Lewis sitting in front of me- gotta be a good sign right?!?!!! #Olympics.""
From the prank-happy U.S. basketball team to Twitter/Olympic all-stars like Michael Phelps, there's plenty to keep you entertained during those commercial breaks while watching hour upon hour of Olympic greatness. Here now are Hollywood.com's staff's picks for the essential American athletes to follow during the 2012 Summer Olympics. #USA! #USA! #USA!:
Michael Phelps: Who has a better perspective on the thrill of the Olympics than a 14-time gold medalist? The Subway sandwich enthusiast always makes sure to keep his fans up to speed on his whereabouts, from the exciting (""Last workout in France today!! Then finally get to head to #LONDON2012 !!"") to the mundane (""I hate hiccups,"" ""Sitting at lunch now ""). Just like in 2008, all eyes will be on Phelps, and this time around, likely all of the tweets, too.
Ryan Lochte: You know that old saying: why follow one incredibly hot U.S. swimmer when you can follow two? Well, Ryan Lochte is now the answer to that question! Sure, not every tweet is as enthralling as watching him race (""Really enjoying this weather in London!"") but he's just as loyal to his fan base as they are to him (""I love LOCHTE NATION!!! I'm looking at all the replies...WOW you guys are amazing support!!"") Jeah, buddy! Missy Franklin: Sorry fellas, you can't get all the swimmer glory on Twitter. Especially not when there's awesome female swimmers like Missy Franklin, who send out great, RT-friendly tweets like this: ""I saw the Tower of London today! Wish I could spend more time there, but I guess I have to swim soon or something.""
Venus Williams: Never mind the fact that you should already be following both Venus and her sister Serena Williams on Twitter (consider it your civic duty) but the tennis superstar shares everything from visiting a Jamba Juice (awesome) to getting passed the Olympic torch (super awesome) to representing our great nation in the games (super, incredibly awesome: see above.) There's a reason why she's 841,989 followers and counting. Kevin Durant: While the entire U.S. Men's Basketball team is worth following on Twitter (if only for their hilarious ongoing sleeping picture pranks), the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, who will be making his Olympic debut this year, is already a champ at keeping us entertained at 140 characters or less. Durant's excitement about his experiences so far (""Headed to Manchester with my USA bball teammates!! So blessed I get this opportunity!! #PGCountyRepresenter!!"") not to mention sharing some great photo ops (including this amazing one with his teammates below) has all the makings of a dream Twitter team.
Jordan Burroughs: With a Twitter handle like @alliseeisgold, how could you not follow wrestler Jordan Burroughs during the Olympics? Plus, the guy seems as tech savvy as they get: Burroughs bought a flip cam to document his time in London and got his dad an iPad. And you just can't argue with the fortune cookie of destiny!
Alex Morgan: Gooooooooaaaaaaal! Who says Americans don't care about soccer? With a fierce player like Alex Morgan representing the U.S. it's impossible not to get wrapped up in the other football. Giving insight from both on and off the soccer field (hey, she needs coffee just as much as we do!) she's one to watch during the Olympics and on Twitter.
Misty May-Treanor: A verified volleyball superstar and a verified tweeter, Misty May is a friend of both instagram and promotion (plenty of Nike and Visa shout-outs!) A serial tweeter, you can be sure she'll give us plenty of reading material during the games.
Alexandra Raisman: Every four years, we as a nation become engrossed with the women's gymnastics team and it looks like 2012 will be no different. We're already keeping up with the likes of Kyla Ross (whose Twitter background will make you dizzier than a series of backflips), McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, and Gabrielle Douglas, but our favorite so far has been Alexandra (Aly) Raisman. The 18-year-old not only gives insider perspective (""PODIUM TRAINING TODAY. Aaaaaah too excited. Can't believe it's already here, everything's going by so fast!"") but she can rock a mean British accent, too. Or so say says. ""My British accent is spot on. Well at least I think it is... ;)""
Tyson Gay: Tyson, as his Twitter profile explains, is ""the American record holder at 100m, at 9.69 seconds. Trying to be the fastest man in history. Also is a world champion sprinter and Olympian."" But even world class athletes like Gay fall victim to the dreaded pocket tweet, like he did on July 24. Still, his intentional tweets are even better. Case in point: ""Happy to win today in London. Things are coming together for the big race here next month #London 2012. Thank to all for your support.""
Allyson Felix: A breakout star at the 2008 Olympics, the gold and silver medalist seems poised to be a winner on the track again. And, yep, on Twitter. She's bringing some much-needed California girl flare flare to London, care of Twitter. Steven Lopez: Like so many other U.S. athletes on this list, Lopez, a Tae Kwon Do gold medal champ, is returning to the games for (hopefully) more glory. A fan-friendly tweet, Lopez might give you a RT if you send him some Olympic-sized loved. Then again, why would you even attempt to say something mean about a guy who tweets about ""Working on face kicks""?
Lolo Jones: The athlete with perhaps the single cutest Twitter profile pic (she's hurdling over her pup!) Lolo Jones is the one you'll want to follow if you're big on religion/inspirational-based tweets during the games.
Phil Dalhausser: The charming volleyball champ (he won gold at the 2008 games) is just as much fun to watch on Twitter as he is during a match. Sure, there would be nothing quite like actually being at the games, but Dalhausser certainly makes us feel like we're there, from stunning scenes from his hotel balcony to exciting insight about London's Olympic facilities
John Orozco: Speaking of great Twitter profile pics, male gymnast John Orozco gets a gold medal for his. The Bronx native, who gets Twitter love from the likes of Gym Class Hereos and Ricky Martin, is posing with First Lady Michelle Obama in his profile shot. Talk about a team USA good luck charm.
Who will you be following on Twitter during the 2012 Summer Olympics? Share with us on Twitter @Hollywood_com!
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