Olympics · Rio 2016

O-Minus 8: Medal Ceremonies Three Ways

Our friends over at Inside the Games are reporting that there will be three types of medal ceremonies to dole out the gold, silver and bronzes at Rio. Which one you get depends on your type of sport. There’s:

  • Traditional – These types of sports (equestrian and fencing were mentioned) will have a  formal medal ceremony.
  • Popular – Athletes in “popular” sports (like basketball and volleyball) will get medal ceremonies with pop music.
  • Cool – “Cool” sports (like BMX, mountain bike and beach volleyball) will be treated to Brazilian funk.

I’m going to wait to pass total judgement until I see it because I get it. Like Christy Nicolay, executive producer of sport presentations, said, different sports have different aesthetics so it’s kind of fun to give their medal ceremonies a vibe that suits them.

But the naming is a turn-off. “Popular” and “cool” compared to “traditional”? Really? I get that the IOC wants to attract the youth of the world, but for those niche traditional sports who are striving to find caché with youth, the labelling are a bit of a turn off. Do sports want to be reminded that they’re not popular? Do they want to hear that they’re not cool according to someone else? Traditional can be just as cool and moving–and sometimes it’s even popular. Maybe it should be called “regal” instead.

We’ll see how it goes. The different styles do have promise, and I bet no matter what, the ceremonies will be a big party.

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