Top Twitter moments from #Rio2016

6 years ago   •   3 min read

By Scott Goodacre

Now that #Rio2016 has come to an end, the Games’ impact on social media can be analysed to see what kind of impact it had.

Twitter have published a helpful data recap which breaks down the top moments from the Olympic Games, as well as the top tweets themselves.

The headline stat is that tweets about the Games were viewed 75 billion times – both on and off Twitter. This comes from only 187 million tweets that were posted between 3 and 21 August.



Football wins the Olympics

Football generates a lot of discussion on Twitter. Whether it’s the start of a new Premier League season, or the winning goal in a major tournament, you can guarantee millions of people will be talking about it online.

Given its relatively low-key status at the Olympics, football was still responsible for two of the top three most tweeted moments at #Rio2016 (as measured by tweets per minute).

Brazil took home the gold in this year’s event, and Neymar’s game winning penalty kick was the most talked about occasion of the entire Games. Usain Bolt’s 100m victory came second, and Neymar scoring the first goal in the football final came third.



Talk of the town

Neymar and Usain Bolt were two of the most mentioned athletes at the Games, however the top spot goes to outgoing USA swimmer Michael Phelps. No doubt helped by the number of tweets from current Olympians who cited him as an inspiration – and widely shared photographs of them meeting him as kids – Phelps can add being the most popular athlete to the five gold medals he picked up this year.

Despite his dominance on the track, Bolt again has to settle for second place. Neymar comes in third, which seems surprising given his involvement in two of the Games’ top three moments.



Top sports

Echoing the most mentioned athletes, the Games’ most mentioned events don’t hold too many surprises: top of the pack is swimming, followed by football and track and field. Again, given that football accounts for two of the most tweeted about moments this is a bit surprising.



How the world reacted to Simone Biles winning gold

And as a bonus: here’s the volume of tweets posted from around the world when the USA’s Simone Biles won gold in the gymnastics.


You can find all of the above figures, as well as the 10 most retweeted tweets from athletes, on Twitter’s data recap blog.

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