Olympians get down and social with their fans
US swimming heartthrob Ryan Lochte caused a stir on Twitter by offering to personally call up one of his most loyal of fans for a chat.
The six-time Olympic medalist is expected to feature in one of London 2012’s most anticipated showdowns, a head-to-head contest with compatriot Michael Phelps in the 200m and 400m individual medley events.
Lochte, recently voted ESPN’s “most awesome body in sport”, seemed to have a tough time deciding which member of his besotted fan-base to get in touch with.
“I am going to randomly choose someone to call. I think I need some fan support today to keep me going!!!” he tweeted. “You guys are great. HMMMM who am I going to call?????”
Lochte settled on dedicated follower @jeahlochte, named in reference to the laid-backed star’s trademark response of “Jeah!”
“It was so amazing i can't even explain it [sic],” she tweeted. “i just asked him some questions and gave him support for London [sic].” She added that Lochte said he “was really tired”.
Using social media to interact with fans is fast becoming the norm for Olympians in the run-up to the Games.
Great Britain’s men’s rowing quad held a live Q&A to openly discuss training advice, their early careers and post-Olympic plans.
However, teammate Alan Campbell joined in the questioning by asking such oddities as: “if you were a shoe what type of shoe would you be?”
“Easy,” the men retorted, “we [would] definitely be a genuine cowboy boot, without the spurs. I[t] would be the shoe for all occasions.”
To follow these and more Olympic athletes online, check out the Athletes’ Hub on Olympic.org