Rio Olympic Medal Ceremonies Have 3 Styles: Traditional, Pop, & Cool

For the first time ever, athletes earning podium spots at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will receive their coveted medals during one of three different award ceremonies. Each ceremony, labeled as ‘traditional’, ‘popular’ and ‘cool’ is complete with its own music and official outfits matching the character of each sport, according to Rio organizers.

Says Christy Nicolay, Executive Producer of Sports Presentations, “There are so many sports in the summer Olympics and some of them are so different. For example the music at gymnastics would be very different to BMX, or beach volleyball would be very different to fencing. So we wanted three different styles of ceremonies.”

Sports falling into the ‘traditional’ category include equestrian and fencing, with medal ceremonies leaning towards the more formal, classical style, with presenters wearing jackets.

As for the ‘popular’ sports, which include volleyball and basketball and swimming, based on the quick preview video below, the presenters’ jackets get jazzed up with an orange stripe, as athletes receive medals against the background of pop music.

BMX, beach volleyball and mountain biking are categorized under the ‘cool’ medal ceremony, with medals being awarded to the sound of Brazilian funk music. Jacketless presenters with rolled up sleeves are slated to give the medals to a blend of hip-hop and electro music.

Below is a sampling of the traditional, pop and cool musical arrangements, each produced by Nicolay and composer Alex de Faria.

All videos courtesy of




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About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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