He may be the fastest man alive, but Usain Bolt was left for dust by five women dragged out of retirement during the Olympics.
The self-proclaimed “legend and greatest athlete to live” could not live with the pace of the Spice Girls when it came to the ultimate social media race.
After years of training, dedication and sweat, Bolt’s best effort, the 200m final, netted him 80,000 messages per minute on Twitter.
Five minutes riding around on the roof of a London taxi and, for the most part singing, landed the Spice Girls 116,000 tweets per minute.
* Bolt’s gold-medal win in the 100m attracted 74,000 tweets per minute (TPM);
* Andy Murray’s defeat of Roger Federer in the men’s tennis singles final, avenging his Wimbledon final defeat — 57,000 TPM;
* Jamaica’s gold and world record in the men’s 4x100m relay, helped in no small part by the contribution of Bolt — 52,000 TPM;
* Team USA beating Spain to win gold in the men’s basketball — 41,000 TPM.
In all, there were 150m tweets posted about the Olympics during the 16 days of the games.
Bolt did carry off the record for the biggest tweet rate of all the athletes during the Games and was one of 10 who were mentioned in more than 1m tweets. Others included swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, tennis player Murray as well as Bolt’s teammate and closest rival Yohan Blake.
Football inspired the most online conversation, featuring in more than 5m tweets. Other popular sports were the swimming events, athletics, gymnastics, and volleyball.
Individual athletes, who might have been relatively unknown on the international stage previously, saw their popularity explode thanks to their Olympic performance.
For example, American gymnast Gabby Douglas had 14,358 followers on Facebook on Jul 27 and 540,174 less than two weeks later.
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