The 2022 Winter Olympics are underway in Beijing, but the real party isn’t on NBC — it’s on TikTok.
Athletes from around the world are using the platform to give a behind-the-scenes look at life in the Olympic Village. Between day-in-the-life vlogs, OOTD snippets, and “things in my Olympic room that just make sense” videos, TikTok is where these Olympians go to express themselves away from the competition. Not to mention, it’s created a whole new generation of social media-savvy stars, those who are up on the latest digital trends.
We first encountered the phenomenon of the Olympian TikTok star last summer at the Games in Tokyo, thanks to the IOC loosening their social media guidelines. For the first time, Olympic athletes were allowed to post whatever they wanted on social media, which gave birth to a wide variety of TikTok content, from athletes testing the “anti-sex cardboard beds” to watching Olympians thirst over one another (they are, in fact, just like us).
While the TikTok presence of athletes at the Winter Olympics lacks the novelty of the Summer Olympics, they are still making delightful content. I have yet to watch a wink of the Olympics on broadcast TV, but I have spent hours experiencing the Games on my FYP. So here are the most fun Olympians to follow.
Scotty James is my favorite Olympian on TikTok. Full stop. I’ve been following the Australian snowboarding hottie since he joined the platform back in March 2020. He posts the perfect balance of funny, relatable TikToks and sick snowboarding videos. His content has only gotten better and more popular since arriving in Beijing. James’s “Things in my Olympic Room that just make sense” video has over 3 million views and over 1 million likes due to his charismatic demonstration of his devotion to Australia. He just seems like a cool, authentic dude! He’s also really good at snowboarding, arriving in Beijing fresh off his X Games win. At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, he won the first Australian medal in Snowboarding. I will be tuning into the Olympics for the first time to watch him shred the halfpipe.
Tessa Maud is only 18, and you can tell because she’s so good at TikTok. While other Olympians have been gaining TikTok clout through making funny videos, Maud has been posting like an aesthetic, day-in-the-life vlogger — but with the epic twist that she’s an Olympian. She’s also been answering a lot of questions and teaching her Gen Z followers how to tune into her races. Her presence on TikTok feels very sincere, and after watching a couple of videos you can’t help but root for her.
Someone has to be the funniest Olympian on TikTok, and that someone is Jonny Gustafson. He’s embracing the absurdity of being a professional luge sledder by using a truly eclectic mix of audios that you have to hear to believe. Gustafson has posted TikToks about how hard it is for him to keep his Olympic room clean and how qualifying for the Olympics meant he’d be missing his DnD campaigns. He’s doing TikTok like no other Olympian and making Team USA (and nerds) proud.
I have a soft spot for any Canadian athlete who posts TikToks of their enviable Lululemon Olympic kits, and Piper Gilles does just that with humor! While Gilles is done competing, her TikToks continue to entertain. My favorite is a collab between her and Ivanie Blondin Nagy, a member of the Canadian speed skating team, in which they dance to “THATS WHAT I WANT” by Lil Nas X in their wildly different competition outfits.
Filip Fjeld Andersen is posting immaculate content. It’s the 22 year-old’s first Olympics, and he documented Team Norway’s 32-hour journey from Italy to Beijing across five videos. It’s hard to describe, but there is something so funny about Andersen’s content. In one video, he tries to make his Olympic room “more aesthetic” by hanging up Chinese New Year decorations. In another, he reveals that he only realized the panda pillow on his bed was a blanket due to fellow Olympian, Maddie Mastro’s TikTok about it. Olympians, they are just like us!
Two members of China’s hockey team, both named Anna, have paired up to make us twice the content. They are just two girlies creating the kind of TikToks you might make with your best friend — but at the Olympics. I love to see it! They’ve already competed, but are thankfully still making silly videos.
If you’re looking to learn what it’s like at the Olympics from a pro, Shaun White is your guy. He’s not messing around with trendy audios or even trying to be funny. Instead, he’s answering all your burning questions about the Olympics in thorough detail. Before heading to his fifth Olympics, White posted a TikTok telling his followers to ask him any questions they have about the Olympics, and sure enough he’s been working his way through all of them. He’s practically a winter Games expert at this point, and his wealth of Olympics knowledge is actually compelling among a sea of more frivolous content.
Sledders are the unexpected TikTok stars of Beijing. Corless is 18, which we know directly translates to having a good TikTok presence, and she’s been posting a combination of vlogs and funny, relatable videos, like her latest post where she stress-cleans to “Big Bootie Mix” before her race. Not to mention, she’s giving us more Canadian kit content.
While he’s not competing at this year’s Olympics, the former Olympic figure skater and Bronze medalist is in Beijing coaching Mariah Bell in her first Olympics. Rippon has mastered the art of the TikTok vlog cadence and posts daily vlogs where he makes all the mundane logistical drama of being an Olympic coach into captivating content.