Rio 2016 Olympic Games


For the next 17 days, I'll be working at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This will be my 10th Olympic Games, including Winter, Summer, and Youth, since Sydney 2000. At every Olympic Games, I have multiple roles and agendas.

Since London 2012, I have been working with the IOC Young Reporters' Programme, led by Anthony Edgar, who is the IOC's Head of Media Operations. Understanding how the media work is one part of this work and it's really ethnographic, as I work among the journalists. I also use the opportunity to develop my own practice as a journalist, but I'm not nearly in the same category of those people who work on assignment after assignment, day after day. Over the years, I have got to know quite a few of the best journalists that come to the Games and they have an extraordinary work ethic.

Most accredited people at the Games - if not everybody - has a very specific role to play and often only see a fraction of what happens around an Olympic city. Part of what I try to do in my research, is obtain a holistic sense of the operation, which means going to sports, press conferences, local neighbourhoods, and understanding how the city runs the Games. 

I'll also give a talk at a conference while here, and interview a lot for the media. It's a full on fortnight. The last 8 Olympic Games are being written up in my next book, Sport 2.0, coming out with MIT Press next year. It's the end of an era - the first decade of social media - and it's fantastic to be at yet another Olympic city. This will be my third book to write about the Olympic Games, but it goes much broader than that, into all things digital, from social media to virtual reality.

There's no better way to get to know a city and its community than to examine it through the lens of the Olympic Games and I look forward to leaving Rio a little more of a Carioca than before I came. Show time. 

My Photographs from the Games