Looking Back on Rio, Which Canadians Got Us Talking the Most?

Oleksiak, Drouin, Wiebe… Who’s stories moved Canadians During the Games?

This time around I’ll spare you the suspense. 21 year old Canadian sprinter and heir apparent in the men’s 100m, Andre De Grasse got Canadians talking during the Rio games more than any of his fellow athletes did.

This may be surprising to some people given De Grasse was not a gold medallist in these games. However, there was a good amount of chatter about his chances leading up to Rio, unlike Wiebe or Oleksiak for example. De Grasse was also helped immensely by participating in multiple events, including the marquee event of the games, the men’s 100 metres. Furthermore, running in the lane next to Usain Bolt no less than 3 times (including qualifying and semi-finals) got him a lot of camera time, as did his budding “bromance” with Bolt who is widely seen as one of the greatest Olympians even and the best sprinter of all time.

Here’s how many tweets were posted about De Grasse since the 100m in Rio:

And these were the top words in the conversation about De Grasse during the games:

The CBC, Canada’s Olympic broadcaster tweeted from its @CBCOlympics account no less than 126 times in a 6 day span while the 21 year old was competing in Rio. That was only 6th most of any publisher during that time.

One of many photos posted by CBC showing the budding “bromance” between the two sprinters

Again, to highlight how incredible these athletes are, MacLean’s has shown how long an average Canadian takes to run 200m. It’s something in the area of 50% longer than these men took to cover that distance.

Even so, the most retweeted tweet in this conversation was not regarding the performance of these sprinters, but about their relationship. Perhaps because the performance was expected, but the “bromance” was not.

Just under 90% of the tweets in this discussion have positive sentiment. Which is pretty amazing, but then again it is a pretty good story! Males were responsible for just over half of the tweets in the conversation (54% men / 46% women). And an incredible 96% of the tweets from this Twitter conversation came from people under the age of 28.

Here are the top hashtags used in the discussion (and number of occurrences):

1. #rio2016 (40,110)
2. #can (20,983)
3. #olympics (10,705)
4. #degrasse (9,829)
5. #bronze (7,238)
6. #teamcanada (6,606)
7. #bromance (6,398)
8. #bolt (6,174)
9. #silver (5,856)
10. #debolt (5,601)

What’s interesting about this is we can see that people’s interest in the bromance has actually translated into the hashtags that were used. Not only is #bromance on this list, but we also see #debolt was used a number of times as a nickname for the pair. Like #BRANGELINA:

Lastly, when we look at the geography of the tweets, it’s no surprise that Canada is leading the way:

And when we break it down by city, 8 of the top 10 cities worldwide are in Canada. While De Grasse’s hometown of Toronto… the Six, leads the way again:

Overall, it was a great performance by Canada at the Olympics in Rio. 22 medals equals Canada’s best ever performance in a summer games. That was good enough for 10th in the overall medal standing. Great job #teamcanada, you’ve made us all proud.