Why am I seeing so many tweets from Olympians this very second? Aren't they kinda too busy to be tweeting?
—Pippa, via the inbox
If you're asking whether athletes like Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary have hired publicists to tweet for them the way some other celebs do, the answer is, #jeah, no. If you see a Tweet from an individual Olympian, you're likely hearing from real athletes. And I found out their secret to, seemingly, doing two things at once.
Let's start with Tyler Clary, who recently beat Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter backstroke. Clary won a gold during that event. While half the world was watching it happen, Clary was, apparently, also tweeting about the event.
"Right now I am completely in the zone, I have never felt so relaxed and prepared to fly!!!" he posted.
In that case, Clary was tweeting live, but it was in the wee hours of the London morning. He'd won the gold hours before, but he knew that his fans in the U.S. were just tuning in to watch him win.
So, at the advice of his agent and a contact at Twitter, the athlete decided to forego celebrating so that he could get on Twitter and enhance the experience for his American fans.
"Because of the delay of East Coast, you can turn that into a positive if you're an Olympic athlete," Clary's sports agent, Evan Morgenstein of PMG Sports, tells me. (Morgenstein also represents medalist Cullen Jones, who has been Tweeting from the Games as well.)
Other athletes are also Tweeting during their downtime, or using another trick.
"We advise athletes to schedule their tweets in advance when possible using HootSuite or a similar software," says Tyler Barnett, whose company lent its social media expertise to the U.S. bobsled team during the last Winter games. "Most people do not know that a tweet isn't always written right before it comes out. Sometimes tweets are written days or even weeks in advance."
So if you do see a tweet from a favorite athlete, don't forget to consider the tape delay. The tweet may be in real time...or it may have been crafted before the Olympian even touched down in London.