Like millions of people around the world, I’ve spent the past two weeks transfixed by the Olympics. Not only are we watching new stars emerge on the track, court, water and floor (and glued to whatever device we can stream the coverage on), but we’re tweeting about it. A lot. 

How much, you ask? Here are the stats.

#rio2016 graphic

London 2012 was dubbed the “Twitter games,” or the first Oympics where we really began to take our pride (and disappointment) to the online sphere. A total of 150 million tweets with the hashtag, #London2012, were tallied post-games. Meanwhile, #Rio2016 is wracking up 693,457,442 tweet views… per hour.

On Instagram, a platform that just celebrated its’ second birthday during the London Games, only had 370k posts to show for #London2012. Four years later, Instagram is no longer the toddler of the social media family. #Rio2016 was used 6X more than #London2012, racking up 2.3 million posts to date on Instagram.

Let’s pause for a hot Brazilian second and recap the top five moments at Rio 2016 for Team Canada:


5. Address Olympians as athletes, not pretty things.

Feminists have been emerging from the ground like cicadas, ready to throw harsh criticism at anyone who dares to undermine our female athletes. After picking up 12 out of 14 medals in the first six days, our pride also became a form of solidarity. No, we weren’t going to accept titles like, “Pretty Penny.” This is 2016, and any missteps (blatant or not) resulted in public ostracization. For example, Canadian Olympian Adam van Koeverden (AVK) took a swipe at fellow Olympic Champ, Adam Kreek’s sexist commentary. He wasn’t shy to let the world (and Twitter) see how he felt about it.

And the sexism wasn’t just seen, felt and heard in Canadian commentary. The Americans had their own tousle with the Chicago Tribune.


4. #RelationshipGoals

On August 12, 2016, American decathlon athlete and Olympic Champ, Ashton Eaton, wore a Canadian hat. With no context, this would be a questionable move at the Olympics. However, the 2016 Canadian Olympic bronze medallist in heptathlon, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, happens to be Ashton’s wife. While those two pieces of the puzzle came together for most people, there were still a few trolls that lead Ashton to lay down how he really felt on Twitter. And Canadians loved it.

And that’s just about when the conversation exploded and more love than criticism pooled in… including the use of the hashtag #relationshipgoals for BTE + AE.

Even Visa got in on the conversation.


3. Golden squad

Remember the names: Oleksiak, McLennan and Drouin, Canada’s golden crew.


2. Sportsmanship

When you’ve tripped during the biggest sporting event of your life, what do you do? Help your competitor up? You’d think the latter was unthinkable, but that’s exactly what happened when New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin took out American athlete, Abbey D’Agostino. The Twitterverse rejoiced.

Side note: There are no Canadians involved in this story, but as a nation, Canadians were certainly enthralled by the sportsmanship that played out between these two athletes in the women’s 5000m qualifying heat.


1. #DeBolt – The New #Bromance

Dubbed by some as Usain Bolt’s “little brother,” 21-year old Andre De Grasse already has one medal to his name. He’s anticipated to pick up a second tonight in the 200m final. Aside from celebrating his running, fans have taken to Twitter to gush over De Grasse’s friendly rivalry with Bolt. 

Any athlete that can smile at the end of a 200m Olympic race, as if it was a stroll in the park, is truly a champion – at least in Twitter’s eyes. 

Oh, and the #AndreArm also became a ‘thing’.