Rugby Participant Ilona Maher Is the Breakout TikTok Star of the Olympics
The world will see how Ilona Maher and the US women’s rugby team will compete in the Tokyo Olympics this week starting Wednesday night.
But almost half a million fans already know the 24-year-old Vermonter very well, who has become a verified TikTok celebrity through a humble look behind the scenes at the Olympics. She is everything her generation is looking for in a gold-tier influencer: a bucket-hat body positivity activist who asks her “best friend” and vlogger for advice on eye drops Hank Green.
Ilona, who describes her self-deprecating TikToks as “funny and unfiltered”, also posts “thirst traps” of herself, who wears her signature glasses and a red, white and blue batik hat to represent Team USA. She says her naughty videos are “a way to escape and not stress myself about my upcoming games”.
She thinks it’s real and shares: “I don’t love my body [all] the time but i really got to appreciate it. I get very mad at myself when I make mistakes. I am aware that my personality could be too much for some people. “