2017 Sports, Health and Wellness, Large Newsroom finalist

Rio Olympics

About the Project

The New York Times engaged its Olympics audience in a variety of innovative ways, placing a particular emphasis on its viewers’ mobile viewing habits. But the small-screen approach did not mean small ambitions.

The Times’s Fine Line series heralded the athletic dominance of four soon-to-be gold medalists. These Olympic previews wove together slow-motion video, motion-capture technology and personal interviews to create compelling narratives that explained to the world why, for instance, Simone Biles was the best gymnast in a generation. The groundbreaking design made for a seamless and engaging navigation through Biles’s rise to the top of her sport and helped convey the intricacies of her athletic prowess.

During the Games themselves, the Times met the challenge of live coverage with timely and interesting analysis. It recreated track and swimming races with small animations on Twitter, and sometimes, those animations arrived for readers via text message. The Times allowed readers to sign up for regular SMS updates throughout the games.

And when larger stories were unfolding, like Katie Ledecky’s staggering 11-second swimming victory, The Times expanded the scope of those animations and married them with other elements to tell a visual story of her dominance in the pool. The Times covered event after event, often employing photographic bursts as the basis for analysis of different sports.

For its Olympic coverage, The Times met its audience on the device of its choice with inventive, well-designed and informative features, news and analysis.