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Follow These 9 Olympic Athletes on Instagram for Some Epic Inspiration These Rio-bound Olympians find a little time to inspire their social media followers, so let them inspire you too.

By Grace Reader

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Rey Del Rio | Getty Images
Kerri Walsh Jennings

Just like Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs put everything on the line, overcome obstacles, find work-life balance and more -- so it makes sense that the mindset of an athlete and an entrepreneur aren't that different.

"The mindframe that you have to be an Olympic athlete parlays easily into entrepreneurship," Staff Sgt. John Nunn, an entrepreneur who is headed to his third Olympic games in Rio in the race walk event, told Entrepreneur. "There's an awful lot of groundwork that has to be laid, and things have to be done and nobody is going to do it but you."

As we head into the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, find inspiration from these athletes who have documented their struggles, found work-life balance and highlighted their greatest achievements on Instagram.

Related: 6 Companies Backing Rio Olympic Athletes

1. Kerri Walsh Jennings, volleyball

Walsh is on her way to her fifth Olympic games in Rio, hoping to be only the second woman to win four consecutive gold medals with a team.

Walsh also shows that even as an Olympic athlete, you can find work-life balance. She often posts photos of her children Joseph, Sundance and Scout.

2. Missy Franklin, swimming

Twenty-one-year-old Franklin will be swimming in three events (two individual events and one relay) at the Rio Olympics. She is a five-time Olympic gold medalist who makes a point to keep her fans updated on her social media accounts.

After a relatively disappointing round of trials for Franklin, the swimmer posted, "There were disappointments, there was success, there was achieving, and there was failure. But most importantly there was learning and smiling throughout the whole process."

3. Jordan Burroughs, wrestling

Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is clearly excited to be wrestling in Rio. He's even campaigning on social media to carry the U.S. flag during the opening ceremony.

Like Walsh, Burroughs also focuses on being inspiring outside of athletics. He frequently posts about what it means to be a good dad and member of the community.

4. Tamika Catchings, basketball

Catchings is heading to Rio for her fourth Olympic games as the oldest women's player in history at 37 years old. This is her last Olympic games

Catchings posts about her Olympics journey and her family and friends on social media.

Related: Go for the Gold: 5 Business Principles to Learn From Olympians

5. Ibtihaj Muhammad, fencing

Muhammad is making history at the Olympic games this year by being the first American woman to compete in the games wearing a hijab.

Muhammad has posted pictures with the president, the first lady, Ellen DeGeneres and more. She often posts about unity and inclusiveness.

6. Adeline Gray, wrestling

Gray is a three-time world champion and is heading to Rio with the intent of winning America's first gold medal in women's wrestling.

She frequently posts about being a woman in a male dominated sport and about breaking the stereotype of women athletes. She also posts about being confident on and off the mat.

A photo posted by Adeline Gray (@adelinegray) on Jul 31, 2016 at 8:06pm PDT

7. Allyson Felix, track and field

Felix tore ligaments in her ankle in April, which has put a strain on what was supposed to be a record breaking Olympic games for the track star. She was expected to double in the 200- and 400-meter races. However, because of the injury she was unable to qualify for the 200-meter race.

Felix is highly inspirational even in the face of defeat. On her social media accounts she frequently posts about overcoming and working hard despite bumps in the road.

A photo posted by Allyson Felix (@af85) on Jul 26, 2016 at 2:36pm PDT

Related: Why Letting Go Is Key to This Athlete-Turned-Entrepreneur's Success

8. Alex Morgan, soccer

Morgan is a forward for the United State's women's soccer team who won the World Cup last year. Morgan also scored a goal in the 2012 London Olympics, where the women's team would win gold. She heads to Rio this year with the intent of winning another.

Morgan frequently posts about what it means to "play like a girl" and has become a social media advocate for equal pay of male and female athletes.

A photo posted by Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) on Jun 29, 2016 at 4:09pm PDT

9. Morghan King, weightlifting

King started chasing her Olympic dreams later than most. She is heading to Rio this year for weightlifting at the age of 26.

She frequently posts about defying labels and what it means to be a female athlete along with her training goals and how far she has come.

A video posted by Morghan King (@kingmorghan) on Aug 1, 2016 at 7:59am PDT

Grace Reader


Grace Reader is a former editorial intern at and a current freelance contributor. She is a third year journalism and media communication major at Colorado State University. Grace is the PR and marketing manager at Colorado State University's Off-Campus Life, and a sports anchor at CTV Channel 11. 

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