2012 London Olympics: Michael Phelps Takes Gold Medal in Social Media

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As the 2012 Summer Olympics in London ends, competing nations are counting their medals to see which country dominated. So far, it looks like a close win for the United States, with China nine medals behind. However, the games are about much more than just finding the fastest sprinter or the most accomplished diver. The first “Social Media Games” has seen Olympic athletes directly interacting with fans more than ever before.

With that said, who’s got the gold in social media from amassing the most followers during the Games? Here are the results below with stats credited to Starcount:

Gold Medal – Michael Phelps (USA)

Stats: 1.2 million Twitter followers and 6.2 million Facebook fans.

Winning moves: Whatever Michael touches has turned to gold. Not only is he the most decorated gold medalist ever, but he wins the social media gold by by gaining nearly a million followers on Twitter since the Opening Ceremony on July 27. This is despite being beaten in numbers by Usain Bolt on Twitter and Facebook. The interesting part about that is he’s only had a Twitter account for a month. Impressive. His gold medal tweet? After President Obama tweeted his congratulations for beating the record, he responded: “Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA !! The best country in the world!!”

Silver Medal – Usain Bolt (Jamaica)

Stats: 1.3 million Twitter followers and 7.7 million Facebook fans.

Winning moves: Considering that Bolt has been blessed with lightning speed — check out his record wins in the 100 meter and 200 meter — it’s no surprise that the Jamaican sprinter is amassing fans left and right. His Twitter account, which features numerous photos of Bolt playing around in London and celebrating with his crew, is all fun and games. However, he does win some fans by thanking the man up above for his successes. He tweets: “I want to thank GOD for everything he as done for me cause without him none of this wouldn’t be possible.” Amen.

Bronze Medal – Tom Daley (UK) and Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas (USA) [tie]

Stats: Tom Daley-1.1 million Twitter followers and 681,000 Facebook fans. Gabby Douglas-615,000 Twitter followers and 573,000 Facbeook fans.

Winning moves: Although British diver Tom Daley and his competition partner Pete Waterfield lost their chance at winning a medal, Daley has won the hearts of millions with his courage and personality on Twitter. Despite having a troll named Rileyy69 invoking the name of his dead father in his tweet “You let your dad down i hope you know that,” Daley took this incident with class and won nearly a million more Twitter followers as a result.

As for gold medal gymnast Douglas, she wins the Bronze medal not only because of her winning moves in the team and individual all-arounds, but for attracting the support of celebrities. Celebrities who have sang her praises include Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and the queen of media herself, Oprah Winfrey.

Unfortunately, a few Olympians found themselves not only blocked from the Social Media Games but barred from even competing for Olympic Glory. Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella and Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou got the boot after sending out racist tweets.

With the wildly viral London Olympics now ending, you can looking forward to more instant Twitter and Facebook reactions and foot-in-mouth disease at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.