In the age of social media, athletes have a unique platform to share their journeys, inspire fans, and promote their sport. Australian athletics is no exception.
Cover image by Fred Etter
Let’s take a closer look at the biggest influencers in Australian athletics based on those athletes who were in either the 2021 Olympics, 2022 or 2023 World Championships teams, based on their current Instagram following (at 1 November 2023):
- Michelle Jenneke (@mjenneke93) – 592k followers
Michelle Jenneke gained fame with her viral warm-up dance at the 2012 World Junior Championships. Since then, she has become an Olympian and moved to second on the Australian all-time list, continuning to impress her 592k followers with her incredible athleticism and dedication to the sport.
- Bree Masters (@bree.masters) – 217k followers
Bree Masters has made a name for herself as a sprinter, representing Australia over 100m at the 2022 and 2023 World Championships. With 217k followers, the former beach sprinter’s Instagram predominantly features training content on the Gold Coast.
- Genevieve Gregson (@gengen_lacaze) – 148k followers
Genevieve Gregson, Olympic steeplechase and 5000m finalist turned marathoner – and better half to former Australian 1500m record holder, Ryan – shares her athletic journey and life off-the-track post motherhood with her 148k followers, proving that success requires continual hard work and determination.
- Nina Kennedy (@ninakennedy_) – 135k followers
Pole vault world champion Nina Kennedy has garnered a following of 135k with her breathtaking photos and videos of her performances. She showcases the artistry and power of pole vaulting.
- Liz Clay (@lizclay_) – 120k followers
2021 Olympian, two-time Australian champion and number 3 hurdler on the Australian all-time list, Liz Clay’s Instagram is a captivating journey through the life of a dedicated and determined athlete who has made her mark both on and off the track.
- Brooke Buschkuehl (@brooke_buschkuehl) – 113k followers
Brooke Buschkuehl, the two-time Olympic long jump finalist and twice Commonwealth Games silver medallist, shares her training and competitions with her 113k followers, offering a glimpse into the life of a professional athlete.
- Riley Day (@rileyday_) – 110k followers
Riley Day, an Olympic 200m semi-finalist in 2021, engages with her 110k followers through her impressive performances and behind-the-scenes moments from her training.
- Jessica Hull (@jessicahull) – 106k followers
Jessica Hull, the Australian record holder over the mile, 3000m and 5000m, has106k followers around the globe.
- Nicola Olyslagers (@nicolaolyslagers) – 73.9k followers
Nicola Olyslagers, Olympic and World Championships medallist, uses her Instagram to share her journey as a high jumping Christian.
- Rohan Browning (@rohanbrowning) – 61.3k followers
Australia’s fastest man, Rohan Browning, updates his 61.3k followers on his races and training.
- Peter Bol (@pbol800) – 55.4k followers
Peter Bol, Olympic finalist and former Australian 800m record holder, had a tough 2023 and has 55.4k followers who follow his journey from training to competing on the world stage.
- Jacinta Beecher (@jacintabeecher) – 53.2k followers
Jacinta Beecher, 25-year-old law student is a 200m runner ranked ninth on the Australian all-time list, with 53.2k followers.
- Celeste Mucci (@celestemucci) – 52.5k followers
Celeste Mucci, a three-time World Championship representative sprint hurdler at just 24 years of age, has 52.5k followers.
- Sarah Carli (@sarah_carli) – 41.5k followers
Sarah Carli, a hurdler, shares her training regimen and competition highlights with her 41.5k followers, proving that perseverance leads to success.
16. Stewart McSweyn (stewy_mac3) – 39.4k followers
The ‘Mayor of King Island’ – Australian record holder over 3000m – has just under 40,000 Instagram followers.
Other Australian athletes with over 20,000 Instagram followers:
- Kelsey-Lee Barber (@kelseyleebarber) – 39.2k followers
- Linden Hall (@linden.hall) – 35.1k followers
- Eleanor Patterson (@eleanor.patterson) – 35k followers
- Cedric Dubler (@cedricdubler) – 34.5k followers
- Matt Denny (@mattydenny) – 31.9k followers
- Ella Connolly (@ella_connolly) – 31.9k followers
- Olli Hoare (@olli_hoare) – 28.9k followers
- Brandon Starc (@bstarc) – 25.7k followers
- Jack Rayner (@jackrayner7) – 24.7k followers
- Kurtis Marschall (@kurtismarschall) – 24.1k followers
- Morgan McDonald (@morganmcdonald) – 23.6k followers
- Brett Robinson (@brettrobinson91) – 22.9k followers
- Joseph Deng (@josephdeng01) – 22.0k followers
- Sinead Diver (@diversinead) – 20.3k followers