Olympic selfies: Athletes sure like taking pictures of themselves

It’s no secret to fans that many Olympians are, well … extremely good-looking. And apparently it’s no secret to Olympians, either. Between all the jeans-related humble-bragging and “next level Tinder” going down in the Olympic Village, it’s safe to assume the athletes feel pretty confident about their physiques. But if that weren’t enough, many have also taken to Twitter and Instagram to broadcast their chiseled faces to thousands of fans.

Let’s be clear here: “Selfies,” despite all the hysterical discussion they seem to invite, are no longer particularly newsworthy nor unusual anymore. (You’ll recall that AP dispatch on “Olympic torch selfies.” To paraphrase Olympian McKayla Maroney — not impressed.) But when it comes to athletes, particularly Olympic athletes in obscure sports or from small countries, these selfies take on an interesting dimension: part branding, part personal narrative, part bid for immortality.

After all, people like Dutch speedskater Koen Verweij will only flash on the Olympics broadcast for a couple minutes — but whatever narrative he can craft on social media has the chance to live on past Sochi. Which hopefully it will.

Here’s American skier Keri Herman, enthusiastic club-goer and wearer of oversized sunglasses, with teammate Brita Sigourney.

Skier Torin Yater-Wallace’s photos with Lyman Currier and Aaron Blunck, his “#teenagetriplethreat homiez,” serves as a pretty good reminder that a lot of Olympians are essentially still kids.

Classy Norwegian speedskater Håvard Bøkko:

… and equally classy teammates Torgeir Bergrem and Gjermund Braaten:

American bobsledder Lolo Jones has also not been shy with sultrier self-portraits:

Paraguay’s first winter Olympic athlete, Julia Marino, has posted a few photos from the games, but this one’s the real winner:

Canadian Justine DuFour Lapointe, of screaming-at-the-camera-after-her-score-was-announced fame, posed with her gold medal for a similarly effusive picture:

This is U.S. skier Billy Demong, who also posts adorable videos of his toddler learning to ski:

American luger Kate Hansen:

American snowboarder Nate Holland:

Fellow snowboarder Hannah Teter:

The American snowboarders seem like a lot of fun, actually. This is Greg Bretz and Danny Davis:

And Sage Kotsenburg:

But the most meta selfie may belong to former Olympian Bree Schaaf, who is commentating for NBC and who captured fellow broadcaster Lewis Johnson taking his own photo in the background.

Is this a commentary on Sochi selfies? The narrative of the Olympic games? Are we over-thinking it?

Probably.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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