Your TV can only show you so much of Rio. If you really want a closer look at the Olympics, open up Instagram. You can guarantee your feed will provide plenty of athletes sharing triumphs, defeats, thoughts, and insights surrounding the 2016 Rio Games. Here are 20 athletes you need to add now on Instagram for an inside peek at this year’s events — or just for some serious motivation.
Diving: Tom Daley, Great Britain
The 22-year old English diver doesn’t just post pictures of half-twists and pikes — Daley is serious about giving his followers tips and inspiration when it comes to fitness and nutrition (he even has a YouTube channel dedicated to health-focused videos — and of course, the link is in his bio). He just started the #DaleyChallenge, which dares followers to try to master some of Daley’s Olympic feats in the gym on their own.
Tennis: Serena Williams, USA
This could be Williams’ Olympic swan song, but the No. 1-ranked champ has plenty else going on surrounding the Rio Games. From sneak peeks to her Nike Training Club workouts with Kevin Hart to jealousy-inducing shots with the British royal family and Sylvester Stallone, Williams proves it’s not hard to live a good life when you’re the greatest of all time.
Track and Field: Usain Bolt, Jamaica
This is the last Olympics for the fastest man on earth — who announced earlier this year he would be retiring in 2017. In the meantime, he’ll be documenting his last bow with videos of track training sessions, photos of his favorite victorious moments, and wisdom that has inspired him throughout his career such as Muhammad Ali’s quote, “He who is not courageous enough will achieve nothing in life.”
Beach Volleyball: Kerri Walsh Jennings, USA
One half of the iconic, gold-medal winning U.S. beach volleyball team tones it back on the blood, sweat, and tears of pro athletics and serves up positive inspiration and glimpses into her everyday life. While there is still plenty of bikinis, bumps, sets, and spikes in her posts, Walsh Jennings also posts the inside scoop on how she motivates herself to wake up in the morning (glad we aren’t the only ones struggling), creating time for her family, and the importance of mindfulness and meditation.
Track and Field: Nick Symmonds, USA
Aside from the important voice Symmonds adds to the controversial Nike-USATF conversation, the superstar half-miler displays his penchant for all things outdoors and off the track on his Instagram. From fly-fishing and paddling in the Pacific Northwest to river surfing in Idaho, Symmonds gives us a much-needed balance of outdoor hobbies and Olympic-competition focus no other athletes do.
Soccer: Carli Lloyd, USA
The FIFA Player of the Year was recently sidelined by an MCL sprain, but nothing is going to stop Lloyd from making a full comeback and leaving her rockstar mark on Rio. From recovery tips to links to her Whole Foods blog posts, Lloyd curates her Instagram in a way that is relatable and inspirational for all weekend warriors who might not ever score the championship-winning goal.
Gymnastics: Simone Biles, USA
Simone Biles is the three-time world all-around champion who is doing things no other gymnast has done before. Her GIF-able stunts make gymnastics look like the X Games Version of ballet. She documents all of her gravity-defying stunts that none of her competitors even dare trying on her Instagram feed, as well as her penchant for pizza, love for Steph Curry's kids, and collection of Nike kicks.
Track and Field: Mo Farah, Great Britain
Need some motivation to get up and go on a run? All it takes is a few minutes of scrolling through the long-distance star’s feed and you won’t think twice about getting out to pound the pavement. Seriously, this guy posts pictures of other men on bikes helping to keep him on pace during track workouts because no one can keep up with him.
The official account of Team USA and the governing body for basketball in the U.S., the USA Basketball account is the one-stop shop to stay up to date with the teams that dominate the Olympic court every four years, the players, Coach K.’s last Olympic go, and opportunities to win tickets to see future games.
Golf: Rickie Fowler, USA
After Jason Day’s Zika-fearing exit from the Olympic team, Rickie Fowler stepped up to the social media plate and announced his commitment to the 2016 Olympic return team on Instagram. You can be sure that Fowler will keep his followers informed when it comes to the game’s return to the Olympic stage.
Gymnastics: John Orozco, USA
When it comes to sheer strength, few guys out there can put it on display as easily as John Orozco. With arms that look like they were chiseled out of marble and a superhero core, the gymnast makes ring work and stunts look easy in all the videos he posts. But he doesn’t take it too seriously — a few of his homemade memes will make you laugh out loud.
Soccer: Neymar, Brazil
There is a reason why Neymar has 54.1 million followers. The international soccer star’s fame extends beyond the pitch — and it shows in his posts. You never know what Neymar is going to post, from selfies with Justin Bieber and Michael Jordan to videos of his Curry-like basketball skills and random late-night acoustic song sets in bars.
Judo: Kayla Harrison, USA
Harrison fought her way to a gold medal in 2012 at the London games, and now she’s back for more in Rio. She did what not even Ronda Rousey could do (Rousey brought home a bronze medal in 2008) and you won’t forget it when you scroll through her profile. She's a badass, and it shines through in every post, especially the captures of her post-match roaring sessions.
Wrestling: Jordan Burroughs, USA
Jordan Burroughs is an American hero, and he isn’t even done making history. If the wrestler takes gold in Rio, he will be the third American to win back-to-back Olympic freestyle wrestling titles. But his valor goes beyond athletic abilities. Seconds after winning his final at the 2016 Olympic trials, he rushed into the crowd to meet his pregnant wife and one-year-old son, and his Instagram account reaffirms this champ's priorities.
Fencing: Ibtihaj Muhammad, USA
An expert fencer, Muhammad is the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab while competing for Team USA. Muhammad’s posts are full of perspective and positivity, and her feed keeps you up to speed with all of her latest videos (from sit-downs with Ellen DeGeneres to documentary spots from Tribeca Film).
Cycling: Chris Froome, Great Britain
The two-time Tour de France champ lives, breathes, and eats cycling — and you can certainly tell by scrolling through his feed. Whether it’s intense captures of the TDF stages or snapshots of Froome’s lung capacity testing, the two-wheeled superstar is the best inspiration for fellow cyclists.
Boxing: Claressa Shields, USA
Shields’s personal story is one of the most moving in recent U.S. Olympic athletes. In fact, it’s so moving that even before she heads to Rio, Universal Studios has already bought the rights to it. She is the best female middleweight boxer in the world, and was raised in Flint, Michigan, as the daughter of an incarcerated father and drug-addicted mother. If she wins in Rio, she will be the first American boxer to win two Olympic gold medals. But despite her serious athletic chops, Shields’s Instagram feed is full of gratitude and fangirl-ing selfies with other athletes — including the GOAT, Muhammad Ali, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Triathlon and Pentathlon: James Lenger, USA
Woohooo, Monday! Coffee, anyone?☕️?☕️?☕️? "In the sports arena, I would say there is nothing like training and preparation. You have to train your mind as much as your body." – Venus Williams ???? Realizing I had been training pretty hard this last week without much rest after traveling, so get a couple days off of running, and some easy days swimming. Instead of my "easy run," I'll probably do an "easy walk" around Central Park before fencing. I think my body will thank me later this week as I ramp everything up again! ???? Have a nice day ? #MotivationMonday #TeamUSA #TeamTYR #teambpi #swim #swimmingpool #runner #running #natación #piscina #fencer #swimming #swimmer #modernpentathlon #training #triathlon #triathlete #swimbikerun #willyscouts #fitness #fitnessjourney #fitnesslifestyle #fitlife #fitnessmotivation #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessfreaks #igfitness #fitnessaddict #thankyoumom
James Lenger trains hard, but plays harder. He makes an inside look at a world-class athlete’s life look fun. He regularly brings donuts to training sessions on the track and in the pool, and enjoys the occasional plank on a rock when he’s too tired to actually muster a yoga pose. Finally, a triathlete to whom we can relate.
Water Polo: Tony Azevedo, USA
The Team USA Water Polo team captain and medalist was born in Rio — so throughout the competition, he is sure to be posting a unique perspective from the Games. Along with his Rio roots, Azevedo is also a total foodie. He’s no stranger to posting a photo of a meal, whether it’s eggs for breakfast in Belgrade or a post-workout ribeye.
Weightlifting: Kendrick Farris, USA
400 plus years of captivity but today it feels like freedom, free to serve. Genesis 15:13 an Acts 7:6 will give you a little insight. So instead of building pyramids and someone else's empire we prepare for our own that will last forever. So 190kg?s 418lb??s is nothing. @blessthegym_kotp #TheMostHigh #BlessTheGym #PancakesForPRs #ChildrenOfIsrael #RoadToRio
Farris is living proof you can eat a vegan diet and still have the brute strength to compete at three Olympic Games. After going vegan in September 2014, Farris’s training and competitive edge have gone nowhere — as you can tell by the pictures and videos he’s posting from inside the gym.
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