Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Top 10 para-athletes to follow on Twitter ahead of Rio 2016

With three years to go until Rio 2016, we have drawn up a list of 10 para-athletes you should follow, including some heavyweights and some not-so-obvious choices. 11 Sep 2013
Alessandro Zanardi

Alessandro Zanardi of Italy competes in the Men's Individual H4 Time Trial at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

ⒸGetty Images

Paralympic athletes are more active on Twitter than any other social network.


To help you through this 140-character jungle, we have drawn up a list of ten athletes you should follow on the #RoadtoRio.


1. @lxznr

The lively Italian Alex Zanardi posts some stunning pictures of his road cycling and is always up for a bit of banter. Recently he started posting pictures of his new adventure: wheelchair racing. Could he come out and surprise us again at Rio 2016?


2. ?@MarjoleinBuis

The Dutch tennis player Marjolein Buis is really good at keeping fans up to date. Tweeting in Dutch and English, she is a firm favourite to take over Esther Vergeer’s crown as the Queen of women’s wheelchair tennis.


3. @JonniePeacock

Let us not forget that Jonnie Peacock will be in his prime come Rio 2016. The British T44 sprinter has a brilliant rapport with his fans. He always replies to and interacts with them. And if you like his chat, you might want to follow his biggest rival Richard Browne ?@winged_foot. For a long time we all thought Browne could just talk the talk, but at the Anniversary Games he proved he has what it takes to beat Peacock.


4. @goalballfatmir

The Swedish goalball player, Fatmir Seremeti, had a tough time in London, leaving empty handed. But do not give up on the Swedish team just yet. Come Rio 2016 they will be back on fighting form and Seremeti is the one you should be following.


5. @kaleo_vb10

For uplifting tweets, follow US sitting volleyball player Kaleo Kanahele. You might also want to consider checking out her teammate Katie holloway (@ksholloway).


6. ?@AliJawad12

The British powerlifter Ali Jawad may have left London disappointed, but if you want to hear anything about powerlifting or other British Paralympic athletes, he is probably tweeting about it. He also raises awareness about Crohns disease, which he struggles with.


7. @ricardinhofut5

Come Rio 2016, Brazil’s Ricardo Alves, who tweets in Portuguese, will no doubt be one of the stars of the Games. The visually impaired football player has good contacts too, chatting to the likes of fellow Brazilian Guga Kuerten who won the French Open three times.


8. @PamRelphMBE

If you did not fall in love with Britain’s Pamela Relph at London 2012, you surely will come Rio 2016. The gold medal winning mixed coxed four team also includes @NaomiRiches2012 @DSmithAviemore @JamesRoeMBE and @LilyJvdBroecke – all of whom are also well worth following.


9. @superfijn86

The Dutch football 7-a-side player, John Swinkels, is very active on Twitter and really should have more followers than he does. Follow him if you are mad about football (and can understand Dutch).


10. @InspireArcher

USA’s Matt Stutzman regularly lives up to his Twitter handle. At London 2012 he was one of the key athletes to capture the public imagination. He also has a Facebook page.