While there's undeniably tremendous opportunities for growing your business and brand on Twitter, it can also be a VIP pass to high profile figures - including athletes. With the Olympic games in full swing, I've compiled a list of some of the top 2010 USA Olympians who are actively tweeting their experience in Vancouver.
Note: The IOC has been vague as to what technologies athletes can and cannot use during the games. The latest understanding is that athletes ARE allowed to tweet during the games, however when it comes to pictures...
"Images taken by athletes, coaches, trainers, officials and any other accredited participants in Olympic Venues or in the Olympic Village may not be used in any public manner or broadcast capacity, including display on a website, at any time, unless the written consent of the IOC is obtained beforehand."
So don't expect any great behind-the-scenes shots via tweetpic. The IOC also states:
“Under no circumstances, throughout the duration of the Olympic Games, may any athlete, coach, official, press attaché or any other accredited participant act as a journalist or in any other media capacity.”
This can be loosely interpreted to mean a lot of different things, but point being the athletes have a leash around their neck when it comes to what they can and cannot comment on during the games. For this reason, some of the accounts below may be less active than normal.
Evan Lysacek - Figure Skater
While a Torino medal comfortably alluded Evan in 2006 with a 10th place finish, he's primed for a proud finish in Vancouver after coming of a silver medal performance at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Jeret Peterson - Aerial Skier
Jeret has yet to capture an Olympic medal, but is decorated with nine World Cup medals including four golds.
Bill Demong - Nordic Combined
One of the older competing athletes in the Vancouver games, Bill Demong's most recent medal was in the 10-kilometer individual race at the 2009 world championships. This is his 4th Olympic games.
Gretchen Bleiler - Snowboarder
A four time gold medalist in the X-Games Superpipe, Gretchen is the defending silver medalist in the women's halfpipe event.
Steven Holcomb - Bobsled Driver
Steven Holcomb is the driver for his four man bobsled team. He is a 14 time gold medal winner in World Cup events and helped his team capture the gold medal at the 09 World Championships.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White - Ice Dancing
Longtime teammates Meryl and Charlie hold the #2 ranking in the world as an ice dancing duo. They are coming fresh off US National Championships victories in 2009 and 2010.
Nate Holland - Snowboarder
While coming away form Torino without a medal, Nate Holland has since won five consecutive gold medals at the X Games in the snowboard cross event. He is heavily favored in the Vancouver games.
Lindsay Vonn - Alpine Skier
Lindsay has won the most medals in women's skier in U.S. history. She's won 31 World Cup events as well as World Cup titles in 2008 and 2009.
Shani Davis - Speed Skater
One of the more decorated winter Olympians in recent U.S. history. At Torino, Shani won the gold in the 1000 meter and silver in the 1000-meter. He's also well decorated in World Championship events.
Apolo Ohno - Speed Skater
Apolo is one of four Americans to ever win three medals at one Olympics - accomplishing the feat in 2006 at Torino. To date he has won two Olympic golds, one silver, and two bronze. He is one of the most popular athletes both on our list and on the USA team.