Triumph, Cuteness and Controversy Make the Olympics a Messy Mix on Social Media

From Bolt to Baby Phelps to #LochteGate

Thursday's buzziest moments from the Summer Olympics were a strange mix of triumph, cuteness and controversy. Media technology player 4C looked at the highlights and lowlights that garnered the most combined social chatter on Facebook and Twitter and discovered the following handful of items:

1. An Olympian on fire

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the man at the Olympics, and Thursday he went two-for-two in winning the 200-meter gold, garnering 572,746 engagements (likes, comments and retweets) on Facebook and Twitter. He even showed off some dance moves after his big win. Check out the video below, which was bolstered with a little animated fun that perfectly illustrates his public style:

2. Brotherly dominance

Talk about a family affair—and a globally dominant one, no less. The Brownlee brothers, Alistair (28 years old) and Jonny (26), of Yorkshire, England, did the unthinkable: winning gold and silver in the triathlon. Their brotherly triumphs inspired 338,553 engagements and continued Great Britain's fantastic showing at this Olympiad.

3. Decathlon greatness

American Ashton James Eaton won his second consecutive gold medal in the decathlon, picking up 321,027 likes, comments and retweets. The social media success of his win underscores how many sports have caused more than a blip in the radar for 4C's rankings in recent days.


4. Oh, Boomer

Michael Phelps' three-month-old son, Boomer, caused the Internet to blow up a little Thursday when dad posted this picture—worth 246,953 engagements—on this Facebook page.

5. #LochteGate 

The whole controversy around Ryan Lochte's claim that he was robbed at gunpoint by people posing as police officers took hold, of course, on social media—especially after videos of the incident started popping up Thursday. The incident stirred up 241,573 likes, comments and retweets.