Here, we give you the lowdown on the 5 Olympians to keep an eye out for throughout #Rio2016.
1. Chris Mosier (USA)
The first openly trans guy on Team USA and founder of TransAthlete.com, Mosier has one of those inspirational stories we see at every Olympics in one form or another. Around 2010, he gave up his top ranking as a female to transition, and he’s overcome all kinds of obstacles to compete in the Rio Olympics as one of the world’s top male triathletes.
His presence on Twitter and Instagram is one of the more inspirational ones out there. Just scroll through all the heartwarming messages of support that flooded in when his Nike commercial first aired. It’s the first sportswear commercial to star an openly trans male.
The kind of positivity Mosier generates is truly inspiring, and he spreads it with natural ease all across social media.
2. DeMar DeRozan (USA)
DeMar DeRozan’s viral Instagram post of the US basketball team’s Vanessa Carlton singalong gave the world an insight into some light-hearted team bonding, as well as the team’s dynamic mix of personalities (Carmelo Anthony wasn’t into it, but he apparently does like Vanessa’s music).
Perhaps unintentionally, this post showed us a little about DeRozan, too. A relatively reserved guy, he’s a chilled-out observer who gets the job done – working alongside some fairly large personalities.
The combination of his workhorse mentality and quiet achieving demeanour means he’ll have some of the most intriguing insights into life in the world’s best international basketball team. Just check out his Instagram: it features some of the most candid, honest portraiture of the team you’ll find.
3. Vashti Cunningham (USA)
Possibly the most stylish Olympian in history, Cunningham’s Instagram profile scans more like a fashionista’s than an athlete’s. It’s basically the ultimate version of how a millennial Olympian might operate online.
The 18-year-old is the world’s youngest track-and-field Olympian in 36 years, but her social media presence is a perfect reminder of just how normal these exceptional people really are. Just like any other teenager, she posts pictures of friends chilling around in Disneyland, herself repping Ralph Lauren attire and some pristine action shots.
Every post just has such a well-honed focus on style – it’s a comprehensive example of how a high-profile young person might create an engaging image for themselves on social media.
4. Patrick Mills (Australia)
While Boomer captain Andrew Bogut’s been sardonically tweeting about Australia’s questionable accommodation in Rio, champion point guard Patty Mills has kept things positive and genuine, as he always has.
Mills’ social media presence projects an unstoppable kind of pride – in his abilities, in the Boomers team and his Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. It’s when athletes display pride with this level of fervour and passion that people often find real inspiration and motivation, and so far, that’s happened.
A recent National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day Ambassador, Mills has performed both as an exceptional Australian athlete and role model. His goal on social media seems to be spreading a real message of positivity, and it’s working wonders for the Boomer team.
5. Troy Doris (Guyana)
Chicago-based track-and-field star Troy Doris is a citizen of Guyana, and he’s got a particularly intriguing mix of talents. As discussed in a recent interview with Thump, the triple jumper also produces electronic music under the names Good Junk and allblack. Surely an Olympics first?
Doris captured an amazing view of the Opening Ceremony, and it’s hard to hold back a smile when looking through his Instagram – especially his reaction video to his friend Chris Benard being picked for the US team.
Instagram: @trydrs // Twitter: @trydrs