2021 Tokyo Olympics: Week 1 Athletes & Themes Brands Should Watch

The Olympic games are finally here, and some fantastic stories are unfolding. Since consumer and media intelligence are the name of the game, we’ll be exploring how conversations are playing out over the next several weeks. Here, we’ll dive into some of the top discussions around the athletes on the world’s biggest stage.

Specifically, we’ll take a look at the following athletes making a stir in the media this week:

  • Hidilyn Diaz
  • Simone Biles
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Tom Daley
  • Katie Ledecky

top athletes mentioned during week one of olympics

There have been some stunning victories and crushing defeats, as well as some heart-touching stories that are getting a lot of traction. Mental health has been a recurring theme with several athletes this week. It powerfully resonates with younger viewers after an extremely trying 2020.

And as you can see below, the 25-34 age group is the biggest group of viewers discussing the games on social media this week at 19%, followed by the 18-24 age bracket at 17%.

Trends showcased on our Live Pulse shows us that there’s quite a buzz around the Tokyo Olympics, with 1.4 million posts and 35 billion impressions in the last day alone.


Our Live Pulse sharing Olympics’ imagery also show that some of the top posts making the rounds currently are garnering more than 50 million shares on social media.


The Olympic Games are always an exciting experience, so let’s jump into the athletes causing a stir across the media this week!

Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz could not be a more incredible person, and she’s getting some big love this week. Social media is blowing up since Diaz is the first Filipino ever to bring home a gold medal. She also set an Olympic weightlifting record in her 55 kg (121 lb.) weight class by deadlifting an incredible 224 kilograms – that’s just over 493 pounds!

Not only that, but the Philippines has also competed in the Olympics for 97 years and has never won a gold medal. Additionally, Diaz is one of only 19 athletes that the country sent to the games this year. Hidilyn Diaz has set social media ablaze with her incredible story, and rightfully so.

Simone Biles

Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, almost needs no introduction. Biles was carrying the full expectations of the US Olympic Team to bring home the gold yet again.

However, these are not regular times. It’s quite a feat that the Olympics are being held in the first place – one year late. Even so, Biles decided to withdraw from the Olympic’s to focus on her mental health. She will not win gold in Tokyo, but she brought home the gold in mental health on social media.


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A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles)

Brands are standing alongside Biles, with one sponsor, Athleta, a Gap Inc. company launching “AthletaWell, a digital wellness platform geared toward women’s physical and mental well-being and community.”

Naomi Osaka

Athletes endure extreme pressure even when they’re not in the limelight. Tennis star Naomi Osaka famously took a mental health break back in May when she withdrew from the French Open. She also didn’t compete at Wimbledon. That’s a big deal for the number two ranked tennis player in the world.

Osaka made it as far as the third round before being eliminated from the Tokyo Olympics just a few days after she lit the cauldron to kick off the games. It was a heartbreak for the first-time Olympian who was born in Japan and grew up in the US.


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A post shared by 大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka)

And showcases the extreme pressure these athletes face -and how audiences can relate and feel defensive for them:

Tom Daley

British diver Tom Daley is not only an outspoken member of the LGBTQ+ community but he’s now earned the first gold medal of his career. Following his win earlier in the week,  Daley delivered a heartfelt message for his fans:

“I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone and that you can achieve anything, and there is a whole lot of your chosen family out here ready to support you.”


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A post shared by Tom Daley (@tomdaley)

Katie Ledecky

Earlier this week, US swimmer Katie Ledecky took home her first gold of the Tokyo Olympics with a historic performance in the first-ever women’s 1500-meter freestyle. However, Ledecky is no stranger to the podium, as this weeks’ gold brings her to a grand total of six gold medals throughout her career.

Ledecky is the brightest star of the US swimming team and got off to a slow start at this year’s games, getting edged out by her closest rival, Australian Ariarne Titmus, in both the 200 and 400-meter freestyle events.

Additionally, Ledecky spoke out earlier this week after Simone Biles withdrew from the competition, saying, “I would never want to speak for Simone or say I know what she’s feeling. Mental health is so important, physical health is so important, and it’s no different being Olympians.”

As we mentioned earlier, mental health has been a recurring theme this week during the games. Consumer and media intelligence shows who is talking and where they’re located. It also plugs us into the hottest conversations as they happen in real-time. Here you can see in our Tokyo 2020 Live Pulse that a good portion of the globe is sharing posts about the Olympics – and this analysis only based on English language posts.


And for an up-to-the-minute look into the state of consumer and media intelligence, our leaderboard updates automatically so we can keep tabs on the conversations as they’re taking place. That way, we can stay at the forefront of the dialogue with the most recent posts, news articles and social media posts with the most impressions, and Twitter posts with the most retweets.


Not only is consumer and media intelligence a game-changer for monitoring global events like the Tokyo Olympics, but it’s also a lifesaver for brands to stay a step ahead of the competition.

Stay tuned as we turn our media analytics focus on the Olympics over the coming weeks, and be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how to bring home the gold in consumer and media intelligence!

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