12 great Olympics-related Twitter accounts

Weightlifter Holley Mangold (right, in photo at left), U.S. gymnasts and track star Dawn Harper, retweeted by Sanya Richards.

Story highlights

  • Delayed broadcasts have made Twitter the go-to place for real-time Olympic commentary
  • Athletes are protesting rules, journalists are live-tweeting and everyone is posting grainy photos
  • US Olympic Team is hashtag-happy, tweeting and RTing photos and videos

The breakout star of this summer's Olympic games so far has been ... Twitter.

The social network has become the go-to place for real-time news, snarky commentary and controversy from athletes, journalists, sports fans and celebrities alike.

Here are 12 prolific and entertaining Twitter accounts to follow so you don't have to miss a score -- or spat.

Sanya Richards (@SanyaRichiRoss): The outrage over International Olympic Committee's Rule 40, which bars athletes from promoting their sponsors during the Games, has caused some competitors to protest on social media. U.S. track-and-field athlete Sanya Richards is leading the way.

Sample tweet: Now headed to one of my fave sponsors BP for my appearance ;-) think I can tweet about them #Rule40 so confusing :-/

Soccer player expelled for racist tweet

    Just Watched

    Soccer player expelled for racist tweet

Soccer player expelled for racist tweet 01:09
Twitter ruining Olympics?

    Just Watched

    Twitter ruining Olympics?

Twitter ruining Olympics? 01:54
UK diver targeted by Twitter 'troll'

    Just Watched

    UK diver targeted by Twitter 'troll'

UK diver targeted by Twitter 'troll' 02:17
Twitter reinstates journalist's account

    Just Watched

    Twitter reinstates journalist's account

Twitter reinstates journalist's account 01:28

Lolo Jones (@lolojones) -- American hurdler Lolo Jones is a riot without a filter. That makes for the best kind of Twitter account.

Sample tweet: Italy's in next building. Could hear shouts of joy from open windows when they won... Either that or their espresso machine finally got fixed

The Empty Seat (@olympicseat): The Olympics isn't all joy, drama and excitement. One important group is suffering from a touch of sadness and ennui: the venues' empty seats. This Twitter feed captures the pain and longing of an unfulfilled destiny.

Sample tweet: My mother wanted me to embark on a more stable career path, become an ikea chair for example. But I felt I was destined for greater things.

Hope Solo (@hopesolo): This outspoken U.S. soccer goalie has made headlines for her Twitter smackdowns of former player-turned NBC commentator Brandi Chastain.

Sample tweet: Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago.

Steve Wilson (@stevewilsonap) -- Follow veteran Olympics journalist Wilson to keep up on behind-the-scenes stories about the politics of the Olympics Committee.

Sample tweet: LOCOG confirmed that Japanese team in opening ceremony left stadium after doing lap in athletes march. Was their request. #london2012

Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson): Yes, that Samuel L. Jackson. The actor is tweeting up a storm for the Olympics, and it's pretty much exactly as great as you'd imagine it to be.

Sample tweet: Hey y'all, more Water Polo dopeness! US vs Hungary, HOTTNESS in a shoot out!!

NBC Delayed (@nbcdelayed): Twitter has been filled with equal amounts excitement about the Olympics and outrage at NBC's delayed, chatty broadcasts. This feed is a running dig at the network.

Sample tweet: BREAKING: Roman Emperor Theodosius bans Olympic Games, NBC delay to catch up shortly. #394AD

Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish): He's already competed in his scheduled event, Saturday's Olympic road race. Now colorful professional cyclist Cavendish is helping cover track cycling for the BBC.

Sample tweet: Gutted. After 250km, less than a minute to 20guys. My guys were INCREDIBLE & there was nothing more we could do. Victims of our own success.

Matthew Mitcham (@matthew_mitcham): Olympic diver Mitcham already won gold in 2008. This year he's multitasking, managing to live-tweet while competing in diving events and answering questions followers have about the sport.

Sample tweet: FINAL ROUND: @loudywiggins @rachel_bugg back 2.5 with 1.5 twist pike: execution 6.5-8.5, synchro 8.5, dive 77.76, total 323.55. WELL DONE!!!

Holley Mangold (@holleymangold): This media-savvy (and surprisingly funny) U.S. team weightlifter has been posting tons of great observations and photos about her time in London.

Sample tweet: Just throwing it out there that it was a privilege to be among the long list of people @ConanOBrien  has made fun of :) #lovehisshow

US Olympic Team (@USOlympic) -- A hashtag-happy, enthusiastic cheerleading feed of news, scores, RTs, photos and videos about the U.S. team.

Sample tweet: Move over #MagnificentSeven, hello #FabFive! The women's @USAGym team has just won its second-ever Olympic team gold; first since 1996!

space™ hijackers™ (@spacehijackers): Calling themselves the "Official Protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games," the Space Hijackers are tweeting to and about groups protesting the Olympics.

Sample tweet: LOCOG wld like to remind Londoners that complaint slips for #emptyseats will be available at the end of each javelin on the athletics field.

Search for more: If you're looking for a specific sport, team, event or athlete, start typing in the search bar of the Olympic Hub tool: hub.olympic.org