The Biggest Social Moments From The 2016 Rio Olympics

The Olympics is a unifying time like no other: Canadians once divided on economy or politics sit side-by-side in uniform red-and-white to cheer on the young Penny Oleksiak or hold their breathe for Andre de Grasse’s ten-second sprint. Said unified nation also takes to social to give their support, conversate with other supporters, and occasionally yell at an athlete or an opposing country. These are the most social games to date (does that surprise anyone?), with Twitter giving each sport its own hashtag emoji and with content going viral fairly easily. Here are our favourite viral moments from Rio 2016: 


1. #PhelpsFace

I know we all have our game faces but Michael Phelps just brings it to a-whole-nother level. The Internet immediately blew up, with many saying his anger was directed at competitor and previous gold medal winner, Chad le Clos. Not so, said Phelps in a later interview. He was apparently “in the zone” and just listening to pump-up music — which we can only assume was heavy metal or screamo. 




2. The Fame of Fu Yuanhui

The swimmer Fu Yuanhui gained MAJOR fame in Asia when she won a bronze medal in the 100m swim and had no idea during a post-race interview. The journalist was actually the one to tell her of her win, and her surprise is straight precious (see below). Her followers on Weibo (China’s #1 social platform) skyrocketed from 550,000 to 4 million fans following the darling interview. The goofy 20-year old is now being called “China’s Sweetheart” and we can’t wait to see more of her in interviews.

Fu Yuanhui goofing around after her team won the relay’

Here's Our Favorite Olympian of Rio 2016

Fu Yuanhui is all of us (but 1000x more loveable)Don't ever change! #olympics #rio2016 #fuyuanhui

Posted by Asian Crush on Wednesday, August 10, 2016


3. The Infamous Green Pool

Sorry, what? Blue turned very green for the high dive competitions. Not only was it green, but it was also murky and smelled strongly of sulphur. A fantastic environment for high-performance athletes, right? Arguments surround why the pool turned green in the first place: perhaps PH levels, algae, or copper sulfate. Either way, Twitter blew up, with Kermit the Frog and Shrek making many tweet appearances and Clorox even jumping on the wagon to promote their bleach.

Rio Olympics Green Pool


5. Michael Phelps’ Cups

Not to mention Michael Phelps twice, but every non-athlete watching was wondering “what are those?” while every athlete watching was thinking “those are the signs of the greatest therapy ever.” This moment was the first (if I recall) big viral moment of the Rio Olympics and the Twittersphere was quick to jump on the “why” behind the bruises. No, they’re not hickies and they’re not from a fight, they’re from cupping, a form of physiotherapy that draws blood to an affected area and helps with soreness and recovery. 

rio olympics cupping therapy


7. #DeBolt

The bromance is real. Following the men’s 200m semi-finals, Andre De Grasse sped up to run in tandem with Usain Bolt, who simply laughed off the young athlete’s cheeky ambition. Giggles and post-run hugs ensued between the two, and the entire internet collectively swooned.


8. #LochteGate

You can’t leave Rio until you tell the truth. And the truth is: the entire “I got robbed at gunpoint outside of the Olympic village” scheme was a total sham. Ryan Lochte and three other swimmers (now infamously known as ‘the three other swimmers’) reported being held outside of the Olympic Village at gunpoint in exchange for money and possessions. Turns out, there was very little truth to the story. It appears they actually damaged property and vandalized a gas station, and Brazil’s reputation was damaged for no apparent reason. Life lesson: be a good brand ambassador, especially when the entire world is looking on. 

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Did we miss any of your favourite social moments from the Olympics? Tell us below in the comments – we’d love to reminisce with you!