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YouTube Keeping the Olympic Torch Aflame in Rio 2016

Rio-2016The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio have only a week left of competition and so far, we’ve been lucky enough to see Michael Phelps secure his place as the greatest Olympic Champion swimmer of all timeSimone Biles rack up 3 gold medals in gymnastics and Usain Bolt retain his status as the fastest man in the world. Now, if you weren’t able to catch any of these events take place in real time, don’t worry; YouTube has got you covered with extensive highlight footage.

To make sure you were in the loop as the games unfolded this Summer in Rio, YouTube partnered with broadcasters in 60 countries to bring you short-form video highlights. Through these partnerships, content that may have been blocked in previous years by the original broadcast company is now available on the platform’s homepage in a playlist entitled ‘Latest Highlights from Rio 2016.’ Google has also made it easier to find Olympic-related content via their algorithmically-enhanced search term ‘rio2016‘ which surfaces information like country medal counts, upcoming scheduled athletic events and regularly updated YouTube videos and news. Never before has Olympic coverage been so accessible in real time on both desktop and mobile.

Not surprisingly, the Summer Olympics have also been a source of inspiration for YouTube content creators who have treated the 2016 games as an effective tent-pole programming event. For instance, one of the platform’s more popular channels known for sawing random objects in half created a video segment of themselves cutting open an Olympic Torch to see ‘What’s Inside.’ The video has already garnered millions of views benefitting from its topical nature.

Perhaps even more interesting and original was YouTube officially enlisting the help of 15 top content creators to bring you commentary coverage in a way like never before by using the YouTube mobile live streaming app, documenting athletic events in 360-degree format and giving you a look at the local Rio culture from a unique vantage point. This not only gives viewers a chance to feel like they’re actually at the games, but it also effectively advertises how practical the recently-vamped app is for the everyday YouTuber.

There is still a solid week of athletic competition left, so if you haven’t already, head on over to YouTube and check out highlights to get all caught up. No doubt it’ll be interesting to see the role YouTube plays in future Olympic games and broadcast content in general, especially with the Pyeong Chang Winter Games in 2018 on the horizon.

In the mean time, if you’re looking for yet another example of the role YouTube is playing in these Olympic games, check out this fascinating story of the Kenyan javelin-prodigy who has been aptly nicknamed ‘The YouTube Man’ — find out why here.

Image courtesy of HeGraDe/Adobe Stock.

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