Guardian unveils digital initiatives to enhance Olympics coverage
The Guardian has unveiled a slew of digital activity to enhance its editorial coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games that kicks off today with the launch of its retro interactive game ’Could you be medallist?‘.
Players can see how their personal best in the 100m, 10km, 100m freestyle swim and bicycle road race compares against the all-time Olympic greats.
The Guardian will also have expert commentary from athletes including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins who forms part of its 2012 network of 100 plus experts from around the world who will be tweeting and blogging during the course of the games.
Other innovations will be unveiled in the coming days, including:
The Guardian Olympic Second Screen experience
Launching in time for the Opening Ceremony, the Second Screen experience will enable audiences to immerse themselves in a live, visual dashboard on desktop and iPad, to accompany and enhance their viewing of the Games.
The Second Screen will display the latest from guardian.co.uk’s Olympic live blogs in addition to results, pictures, tweets, the medal table and much more, all in a stunning intuitive interface that has been designed and developed entirely in-house.
The Guardian London 2012 experts’ network
The Guardian has recruited over 100 sporting experts, including many former Olympians, to tweet, blog and answer readers’ questions during the Games.
Their real-time content will feature on a live world map on guardian.co.uk that users can filter according to which disciplines they are interested in. The experts’ tweets will also be fed into the Second Screen experience to provide users with sharp insights into unfolding events, as they happen.
Graeme Le Saux, the former Chelsea and England international footballer and a contributor to the Guardian London 2012 experts’ network, said: “Using the web and social media for projects such as this provides instant comment and reaction from people who know their sport and know first hand what it is like to be in similar situations. Collecting these opinions on a much broader scale, in real time, will give a better sense of detail during an occasion such as the Olympics, and I’m delighted to be involved with this project.”
Following the brick-by-brick replays pioneered by the Guardian during the 2010 World Cup, audiences will be able to relive the most thrilling moments from the Games with its lovingly recreated brick-by-brick homages, drawn from an extraordinary range of events including the US dream team, the mens’ 100m final and…the swimming!
The Guardian’s team of top bloggers will be live blogging every day during the Games from 7.30am-11pm, with separate live blogs on the key events.
Virtual stadium tour
The Guardian will be offering 360 degree panoramics of the site with fly through access to every venue. This is all in addition to Olympics content already unveiled on the guardian website, including the ‘60-second expert‘ series, which provides essential snapshot guides to some of the lesser-known Olympic disciplines, and comment pieces from high profile Olympians and ex-Olympians.
As well as Wiggins there will be Dean Macey (decathlete) and Yamile Aldama (triple jumper).
Wiggins, who is a triple Olympic Gold medallist and Tour de France winner, said: “I’m proud to be associated with the Guardian’s Olympic coverage, and look forward immensely to the Games.”
In addition, seven Olympians – all of them medal prospects – will blog about the games for the Guardian and the Observer as part of an Olympic diaries series, giving readers a unique insight into the preparations and the pressures facing the competitors.
Paul Johnson, deputy editor, Guardian News & Media, said: “With 60 journalists on the ground across London and around the UK, and our extensive network of foreign correspondents watching London from abroad, our finest writers from across the Guardian, the Observer and guardian.co.uk will be presenting our readers with a unique and unrivalled take on the Games. We will be reporting around the clock on the website and the exciting range of digital initiatives we will be unveiling in the coming days is testament to the innovation and creativity here at GNM.”