11 influencer athletes who are set to dominate the Paris Olympics and your FYP

  • The 2024 Summer Olympics will begin in Paris on July 26.

  • Elite athletes are sharing their daily lives and intense training routines on TikTok.

  • US Olympic rugby player Ilona Maher has 1.1 million followers on the platform.

The 2024 Summer Olympics are just around the corner, and as elite athletes polish their routines and compete in final qualifiers, they're taking fans along for the ride on TikTok.

The platform is a popular choice for sharing training schedules, daily routines, skits with teammates, and brand partnerships.

Such partnerships can play a key role in funding their Olympic lifestyles, especially in niche sports like synchronized swimming or volleyball, which don't garner the same attention as other sports like soccer or basketball.

In fact, Business Insider reported in 2021 that a global study of 500 elite athletes found that nearly 60% of them did not consider themselves financially stable.

Since sponsorships are largely dependent on an athlete's popularity and performance, TikTok and other social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube have become important, albeit necessary, ways for athletes to gain a notable following and increase their chances to collaborate with major brands like L'Oréal, Amazon, Delta, and Brooks Running.

Ahead of final team announcements for the 2024 Olympics, here are 11 elite athletes who are prepared to dominate Paris and your For You Page this summer.

All follower counts were accurate as of June 20, 2024.

Ilona Maher is an Olympic rugby player who uses her platform to promote body positivity.

Ilona Maher Team USA portrait.
Ilona Maher Team USA portrait.Mike Coppola/Staff/Getty Images

Arguably the No. 1 Olympic TikToker is rugby player Ilona Maher, who has 1.1 million followers.

Maher, 27, first went viral three years ago during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo thanks to sharing a behind-the-scenes view of the Olympic Village and its notorious "anti-sex beds."

Now, she shares everything from her fashion and advice, to, most notably, body positivity content. As an accomplished rugby player with World Championship and Olympic experience, Maher has been vocal about her love for her body.

NCAA.org reported that at the Team USA Media Summit in April Maher said she tries to show her audience that they don't need to sacrifice their femininity or beauty to play a physical sport like rugby.

"That's a little bit why I wear the lipstick when I play. I can tackle hard and run hard but also, you know, still feel beautiful and still bring that into it. It's not like you have to sacrifice that," she said.

Her talent and outspokenness have led to collaborations with brands such as L'Oréal, Brooks Running, Delta, and Maybelline as she promotes #beastbeautybrains.

As they continue final preparations for Paris, Maher and her rugby sevens teammates will be striving to beat their sixth-place finish from three years ago and make it to the podium for the first time in US women's rugby history.

Find her TikTok here.

World No. 2 women's tennis player Coco Gauff is also set to document her Olympic debut.

Coco Gauff reacts after winning the quarterfinal of the 2024 French Open.
Coco Gauff reacts after winning the quarterfinal of the 2024 French Open.Robert Prange/Contributor/Getty Images

2023 US Open champion and 2024 Roland-Garros women's doubles champion Coco Gauff, 20, is poised to return to Paris for her Olympic debut after a positive COVID-19 test forced her out of competition in Tokyo.

As the WTA Singles No. 2 women's player in the world, Gauff has already qualified for the Olympics.

Her 632.6K TikTok followers should expect to see plenty of outfits, thrift hauls, competition highlights, and dances throughout the tournament.

Find her TikTok here.

British diver Tom Daley is making his fifth Olympic appearance.

Tom Daley poses with his medal at the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championship.
Tom Daley poses with his medal at the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championship.Quinn Rooney/Staff/Getty Images

British diving legend Tom Daley has returned from retirement for a fifth and final Olympic Games. Since his debut in 2008 at just 14 years old, Daley has become an Olympic fan-favorite known not only for his incredible skill but also for his poolside hobbies, knitting and crocheting.

He shares all of this, plus parenting content, funny trends, and collaborations with brands like Rimmel London, Adidas, and Casper, with his 1.3 million TikTok followers.

Find his TikTok here.

Daniella Ramirez is bringing Olympic-level ASMR content that gives an inside look at synchronized swimming.

Daniella Ramirez Team USA portrait.
Daniella Ramirez Team USA portrait.Mike Coppola/Staff/Getty Images

If you've never heard of synchronized swimming, allow 22-year-old Daniella Ramirez to be your introduction.

Ramirez is a third-generation synchronized swimmer, following in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother, and sister, per Team USA. This summer, Ramirez and her teammates will represent USA Artistic Swimming at the Olympics — the first time the team has qualified since 2008.

While she shares behind-the-scenes looks at her life and partnerships with L'Oréal, she is best known on TikTok for her Knox ASMR content.

Knox is a brand of clear, flavorless gelatin that synchronized swimmers use to coat their hair to keep it perfectly intact during competitions. Her videos of putting on the substance and, more importantly, taking it off have garnered hundreds of millions of highly satisfying views from her 480.9K TikTok followers.

Find her TikTok here.

Veteran USA Volleyball player Erik Shoji has garnered 1.1 million TikTok followers.

Erik Shoji during the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Erik Shoji during the 2016 Olympics in Rio.Tom Pennington/Staff/Getty Images

The veteran libero from Honolulu has gained a large following on TikTok sharing training highlights and behind-the-scenes looks at life as a professional athlete.

Shoji has been a member of the US Men's National Volleyball Team since 2013 and won a bronze medal during the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to USA Volleyball.

He now plays professionally in Europe, where he's won two Champions League titles with the Polish team ZAKSA, as well as four Polish league trophies.

Find his TikTok here.

Lina and Laviai Nielsen have documented their rise from 2012 Olympic volunteers to 2024 Olympians.

Lina Nielsen (L) and Laviai Nielsen (R) at the World Athletics Indoor Championships.
Lina Nielsen (L) and Laviai Nielsen (R) at the World Athletics Indoor Championships.MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twins Lina and Laviai Nielsen are British track-and-field athletes who compete in the 400-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash, respectively. They are also training to compete on the same 400-meter relay team, as they did at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March, where Great Britain placed third.

The sisters have a combined TikTok following of more than 160,000 and more than 16,000 subscribers to their joint YouTube channel, "The Nielsen Twins." Together, they document their lives training and competing, as well as funny trend videos and partnerships with brands like Bulk.

Both Lina and Laviai have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and they hope to show others what they can achieve despite the disease.

"A lot of people assume MS automatically leads to disability, but it does not. For a lot of people living with MS, they can continue normal activity and exercise. If we can shine a light on that side, then it can start to change that narrative," Lina Nielsen told The Daily Mail in June 2024.

Great Britain's official athletics team for the 2024 Olympics won't be announced until July 5.

Find Lina's TikTok here, and Laviai's TikTok here.

The name Simone Biles is synonymous with Olympic greatness.

Simone Biles at the 2024 Xfinity US Gymnastics Championships.
Simone Biles at the 2024 Xfinity US Gymnastics Championships.Elsa/Staff/Getty Images

And for good reason.

The 27-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, is a seven-time Olympic medalist with four gold, one silver, and two bronze; as well as a 30-time World Championships medalist with 23 gold, four silver, and three bronze, making her the most decorated gymnast of all time, per Olympics.com.

Now, Biles is a favorite for her third Olympic team following an impressive first-place all-around finish at the 2024 Xfinity US Gymnastics Championships earlier this month — dominating every event with a first-place finish, per NBC Sports.

The star has been relatively quiet on TikTok in the lead-up to the Olympic trials on June 27. Still, we're hopeful she'll return to social media to share inside looks at Team USA, her gymnastics teammates, and her husband, Jonathan Owens (if he's in attendance), with her 884.7K TikTok followers.

Find her TikTok here.

Biles isn't the only US gymnast ready to dominate Paris — Frederick "Fred" Richard is also hoping to bring home the gold medal.

Fred Richard celebrating his bronze medal win at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2023.
Fred Richard celebrating his bronze medal win at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2023.Tim Clayton/Contributor/Corbis via Getty Images

Fred Richard, 20, from Stoughton, Massachusetts, is ready for Olympic trials on June 27.

In 2023, he became the youngest individual world medalist in US history after finishing third in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, per USA Gymnastics — and he hasn't slowed down since.

Richard finished second overall at the 2024 Xfinity US Gymnastics Championships earlier this month. He also placed first on the floor exercise and second on the high bar — his favorite event — per NBC Sports and USA Gymnastics.

Richard shared clips from the competition with his 662.3K TikTok followers and is known for posting his training highlights and Olympic countdown videos. In May, he even shared how he collaborated with Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Noah Lyles to improve his running technique for the vault exercise.

As a favorite to make Team USA Gymnastics, Richard will be looking to make more history and help the men's team medal for the first time since 2008 when they took home bronze.

Find his TikTok here.

Long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall is taking her followers along for the ride toward Olympic redemption.

Tara Davis-Woodhall Team USA portrait.
Tara Davis-Woodhall Team USA portrait.Mike Coppola/Staff/Getty Images

Long-jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall isn't new to the Olympics. The 25-year-old debuted in 2021 in Tokyo but finished the competition in a disappointing sixth place.

Now, she's ready for bigger and better — in March 2024, Davis-Woodhall won gold at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships.

A month later, she told Olympics.com she feels "more joy" preparing for these Olympics than she did for Tokyo.

"Now, I'm living with my husband in Arkansas and we just enjoy life to the fullest. We have so much fun with everything that we do," Davis-Woodhall said.

She and her husband, Paralympian Hunter Woodhall, have established a large social media following across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. They share their daily lives in Arkansas, training schedules, and other fun relationship insights.

Davis-Woodhall has 266.3K TikTok followers and 474K Instagram followers, as well as 778K subscribers to the couple's YouTube channel, "Tara and Hunter."

Olympic trials for women's long jump begin on June 27, so it's only a matter of time until Davis-Woodhall's return to the Olympic stage may be secured.

Find her TikTok here.

Reigning all-around Olympic gold medalist Sunisa "Suni" Lee is hoping for another Olympic run.

Sunisa Lee at the 2024 Xfinity US Gymnastics Championships.
Sunisa Lee at the 2024 Xfinity US Gymnastics Championships.Aric Becker/ISI Photos/Contributor/Getty Images

Lee made history at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first woman of Asian descent and the first Hmong-American to win the Olympic gymnastics all-around title. She also won a silver medal in the team event and a bronze for uneven bars.

Just last year, though, an Olympic return seemed uncertain as she dealt with a kidney disease that put her training on pause, she told Self in October 2023.

Lee made her return to elite competition at the Core Hydration Classic in August 2023 and qualified for the US Championships. There, she finished fourth overall — just 0.15 points behind third-place finisher Kayla DiCello — with a second-place finish on the balance beam and a fourth-place finish on uneven bars, NBC Sports reported.

With 1.5 million TikTok followers and counting watching her leotard reveals, get ready with me's, and partnerships with brands like Marriott, L'Oréal, and Amazon, all eyes are on the 21-year-old as she aims for another shot at Olympic gold.

Find her TikTok here.

Read the original article on Business Insider