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Social media highlights - the #Rio2016 conversation so far

Celebration of strength, determination and team appear to have taken the reins in social chatter about Rio, despite its rocky lead up.

Perhaps not surprisingly, #Gold got a head start as one of the top hashtags unearthed - along with #swimming and #volleyball - throughout the first half of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Day 2 of the Games represented a peak in mentions, most likely due to the gifts it bestowed on sports fans. Katie Ledecky of #TeamUSA set a world record for the women’s 400m freestyle, while Sarah Sjöström made #TeamSweden proud with a similarly record breaking effort in the women’s 100m butterfly.

Volleyball was another hot topic out of the water, buoyed up by athletic focus as well as sociopolitical commentary. Canada’s win over the USA and Argentina’s victory over Iran brought men’s volleyball to the fore. In a cultural aside, however, Ian Bremmer’s post on female volleyballers went viral. Bremmer’s tweet asked followers whether they defined variations in uniforms as a “culture clash” or the “unifying power of sport”. The response? #TeamEgypt’s Doaa Elghobashy affirmed that her hijab doesn’t limit her love of participating, and was retweeted (via @AP_Sports) over 600 times.

By Day 12, #OlympicSpirit has emerged as a social favourite - thanks primarily to the women’s 5000m. Forsaking potential gold to help each other after colliding, runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino even touched Google, who proudly declared the athletes synonymous with sportsmanship.

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