On August 5th, the nations of the world will unite (and simultaneously compete) in the 31st edition of the Olympic Games. The games are to be held in Rio de Janeiro — Brazil’s second most populous municipality, and the home of more than 6 million Brazilians who will be witness to more than 10,000 athletes jostling for the distinction of “Greatest in the World.” To say that there is hype for the games would be a dramatic understatement.
In preparation for the games, the Rio 2016 Olympic committee on June 15th released a video of the Rio medals being produced and provided a peek into what the medals will look like. Like the laurels of Olympic games past, gold medals will be 525 grams of silver plated with six grams of pure gold; silver medals will be 525 grams of silver; and bronze medals will be a similarly-weighted mixture of copper, zinc, and tin.
The street costs for the medals were roughly $600, $370, and $3.50, respectively, when Olympics medals were last distributed (at the 2014 Sochi winter games). Perhaps greater value for the medals, though, lies in their production itself, with each medal routinely taking more than 18 hours to make. But no matter — we all know that the Olympic medals are worth infinitely more than their monetary expense or manufacturing process could ever dictate.
The Rio 2016 committee’s discharge of the medal-making video is part of a much larger movement that is bringing the Olympics and their proceedings to as many people as possible. This movement was kicked off with the recent announcement of a deal between Snapchat, NBC, and BuzzFeed that will provide real-time Olympics highlights on the Snapchat app itself. The broadcasting of highlights on an app that now has well over 200 million users is a logical step, as NBC is trying to make the Olympics as public as possible.
Technology is at never-before-seen heights, and it is refreshing to see Snapchat, NBC, the Rio committee, and others using technology and its distributive powers to make the Olympics the best they’ve ever been. The countdown to the Rio Olympics on August 5th started the second 2012’s London games ended, and tech has allowed for the 2016 games’ excitement to be palpable and well worth the wait.