Love the Olympics? This year's events in Rio promise to provide an amazing show. There will be plenty of coverage on TV and the web, of course, but you can't get more close-up than when the athletes themselves take you behind the scenes via their personal social media accounts.
Many of Team USA's 550 or so athletes have a social media presence, but some stand out in terms of the level of detail they share with fans about their lives both as athletes and regular folks. These Olympians will give you a gold medal peek into this year's Summer Games.
Biles is a three-time world champion who has absolutely wowed the world of gymnastics since she burst onto the scene. This will be her first Olympics and she is almost certain to make a splash. Follow her on Instagram or on Snapchat at simonebiles.
Two-time Olympic wrestler Jordan Burroughs represented the U.S. in London in 2012 and he'll do it again this year in Rio. A four-time world champion, Burroughs is as much a star on the mat as he is on on Instagram and Twitter, thanks to his posts featuring everything from his workouts to his sponsors to his two ridiculously cute kids.
Olympic diver David Boudia came home from the 2012 London Olympics with a gold in the 10-meter platform division — the first time an American male had achieved that honor since Greg Louganis won at the 1998 games in Seoul, South Korea. He and teammate Nicholas McCrory also took home the bronze in the synchronized 10-meter platform dive. He will compete in both events again this year in Rio, this time with teammate Steele Johnson on the synchronized dive. Follow Boudia's Instagram for interesting updates on the team and cute videos of his daughter Dakoda.
Die-hard diving fans will remember Kassidy Cook's devastation at missing a spot on the 2012 Olympic team by .42 of a point. And this year's fans know her for her elation at the trials when she finally claimed her redemption. The 21-year-old Stanford University student has fun messing around on Instagram and on Snapchat at kassidycook.
Demarcus Cousins, aka "Boogie," has played basketball for the Sacramento Kings since 2000, but this will be the first year he represents Team USA at the Olympics. He's a regular on social media, where he posts videos and pics centered around his sport and his sweet son, Amir, on Instagram and Snapchat at bogiecousins.
Two-time Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton is particularly good at keeping in touch with his fans. He's been documenting all the behind-the-scenes details of his road to Rio on his YouTube channel. You can also follow him on Instagram and Snapchat: JAKEOU.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, gymnast Gabby Douglas became the first African-American woman to win gold in the all-around competition. And her efforts at this year's trials proved she is very much in the running for another shot at the podium. She and 2016 teammate Aly Raisman are the first women to make back-to-back Olympic teams since 2000. Follow her on Instagram or on Snapchat at gabbydoug.
Sprinter Alyson Felix has battled a recent ankle injury, but that didn't stop her from winning the 400-meter track event at the Olympic trials held a few weeks ago. This will be the fourth Olympic Games for Felix, and she hopes to add to her already impressive medal count while she's there. Keep track of Felix on Instagram.
Swimmer Missy Franklin took home five Olympic medals — including four golds — from the 2012 Games in London. And she's hoping for more in Rio. Out of the pool, Franklin is just your typical college student, attending University of California at Berkeley where she's working toward a degree in psychology with a minor in education. Follow her on Instagram.
As a female wrestler, Adeline Gray is no stranger to adversity. She started wrestling at age 6 at a time when it was practically unheard of for women to be on the mat. Now 25, Gray knows women's wrestling is still a fledgling sport, and she uses her social media presence on Instagram to encourage more young girls to try it.
On paper, marathoner Meb Keflezighi is 41 years old. But when he's running, he is ageless. Keflezighi earned a bronze medal in the marathon at the 2004 Games in Athens, was injured in 2008 and came in fourth in London in 2012. This will be the runner's final Olympic Games, and he promises to take his huge social media following along for the ride. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Stephen Lambdin is heading to Rio to represent the USA in taekwondo. He's been counting down the days with customized pics on Instagram and Twitter. Lambdin has big goals for Rio and hopes to return home with nothing less than a gold medal.
Former-model-turned-boxer Mikaela Mayer started boxing at age 17. Now 26, she will represent Team USA and try to bring home the gold in the lightweight division. She posts regularly on Instagram and Snapchat at mikaela.mayer.
Tatyana Mcfadden was adopted from a Russian orphanage when she was 6 by an American woman named Deborah McFadden. At age 15, McFadden competed in wheelchair racing in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. She has since competed in London and Beijing, and — just for fun — she also took on cross-country skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Follow her "Road to Rio," where she hopes to become the first athlete to win gold in every track and field distance — 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 1500 meters, 5,000 meters and the marathon — on Instagram.
At age 31, swimmer Michael Phelps has spent the majority of his life as an Olympian. He made his Olympic debut at age 15 in 2000 and has since racked up 22 medals, including 18 golds. This will be Phelps fifth Olympic Games, and if his performance at the trials is any indication, he's sure to make a splash. Follow him on Instagram.
At the ripe old age of 22, Raisman is often jokingly referred to as "Grandma Raisman" on the U.S. Olympic Team thanks to her tendency to try to sneak in a nap any chance she gets. Raisman and teammate Gabby Douglas are the first two-time Olympic gymnasts to represent the U.S. on the women's team since 2000. She was team captain in London and will once again have that honor in Rio. She will also be a serious contender for the podium. Follow her on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Very rarely do I feel good about my snatches, but today they felt pretty ight! #progressprogressprogress 🙃 Waves and waves of a not so fun complex plus some extra cause @camargo_oly was feelin it #itsdeloadweekDanny #stopit 95kg x 2, 99kg and 101kg/222lbs shown #EarnedNotGiven #HeadDownEyesForward #ProveIt #highpulldisappeared @hookgripstore crop 🏋🏼
Weightlifter Mattie Rogers got into her sport after starting CrossFit at age 17. Now, four years later, she's headed to Rio to represent Team USA. She posts pics and videos of her lifting some crazy heavy weights on Instagram and Twitter.
Also known as the "Armless Archer," Matt Stutzman brought home the silver in archery at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. This year he has his eye on the gold. Follow him on Facebook where he posts regularly about living life to the fullest.
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Kerri Walsh Jennings has brought home the gold for Team USA in beach volleyball for the past three Summer Games with volleyball partner Misty May-Treanor. This year, she hopes to do it again, but this time with a new partner — April Ross. You can follow their progress in Rio on Walsh Jenning's Instagram account where she also posts pics of her three super cute kids.
Golf is returning to the Olympic Games this year for the first time in over a century. And Bubba Watson — one of the top golfers in the U.S. — is planning to be there to mark the historic occasion. Follow Watson on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with what's happening in the world of golf and to see pics of Watson and his wife with their two adorable children.
Serena Williams needs no introduction. The tennis star is as much a celebrity as she is an athlete, with 22 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 Grand Slam doubles titles (with her sister, Venus). The Rio Games will be Williams' fourth Olympics, and while there she hopes to add to her collection of gold medals. Follow her on Instagram and Snapchat at SerenaUnmatched, where she tries out the latest filters and shows off her outfits for the next match.