THE ATHLETES: As a rule, athletes are boring. Three exceptions: Swimmer Ryan Lochte (@ryanlochte) fires off wisdom like “Wake up and smell the gardens.” Hurdler Lolo Jones (@lolojones) tweets about Tim Tebow’s love life and the challenges of being single. And Usain Bolt (@usainbolt) tweets with a Jamaican accent: “gwan a training ya now after listening to dem Teacher deh ..Dweet Dweet.”
THE OUTLETS: @skynewsolympic, the U.K.’s main media channel covering the Games, will have the inside track on Olympics news while NBC reporters are still stuck in the Lambeth Bridge roundabout. The best international newsfeed is @isummerolympics, which posts minute-by-minute info from around the world.
THE TOOLS: Type the name of your favorite athlete into the Olympic Athletes’ Hub’s search bar to get their latest tweets and Facebook posts in one easy-to-read feed. Meanwhile, NBC will offer hashtags during events—#olympicbasketball, for example—and you can ask questions about the game being played (“Was he really out of bounds?”). Your tweet will show up on TV screens at the venue, and spectators can tweet back (“Yes, I’m sitting right near the sideline”).
SCREEN GRAB: Although Team USA will make highlights available throughout every day of the Olympics via its YouTube channel, the most useful tool for round-the-clock coverage is Sportlemon.tv. The site streams live feeds of Olympic events sourced from various broadcasts around the world. You probably won’t be able to understand the commentators, but you need a break from Bob Costas and Ryan Seacrest anyway.
MEDAL DETECTOR: Stat nerds take note: the Roambi Analytics Visualizer app, free on iTunes for iPhone and iPad users, allows you to analyze performance and medal data from the past four Games. In an Olympic office pool? It also makes medal predictions for London.