AP Style Update: Summer Olympics

AP Stylebook

[Editor’s Note: One of the most popular articles on prnewsonline.com is a review and summary of AP style. We took that as a sign and decided to deliver a series of AP style updates for newsworthy topics. Previously, the series looked at terms for writing about the Super Bowl, climate and environment, elections, cryptocurrency, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and finance, among other topics.]

For this installment, we explore terms and topics for use during the upcoming Summer Olympics. The AP just released a new 2024 Paris Games Topical Guide just in time for the Opening Ceremonies in a few weeks. Up-to-the-minute news, features, athlete profiles, sporting rules and information can be found at the Paris Games website. A list of qualified athletes can be found at the Team USA page. Here’s a sample of some of the items PR pros may need to know and review. 


International Olympic Committee. Either is OK on first reference, but use the full term somewhere in the content.


Olympics or Olympic Games:

Always capitalize. This includes Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, Summer Games and Winter Games. This also includes capitalizing Games when used on its own. 


Paris is home to the 2024 Summer Olympics. 

The Games will feature over 10,000 athletes.


the Olympic Partners program: 

The IOC's global sponsorship program. The 15 sponsors include AB InBev, Airbnb, Alibaba Group, Allianz, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Intel, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Toyota and Visa. Do not use the IOC's abbreviation, TOP.


Olympic rings:

Five interlocking rings (blue, yellow, black, green and red) which symbolize the five areas of the world involved in the Olympic movement (Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania).


Olympic sports: 

archery, badminton, basketball (regular team and 3-on-3), boxing, breaking, canoe/kayak, cycling (track, road, mountain bike, BMX racing, BMX freestyle), equestrian (dressage, eventing and jumping), fencing, golf, gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic and trampoline), handball, field hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, soccer, sport climbing, surfing, swimming (swimming, diving—springboard and platform, water polo, artistic swimming, marathon swimming), table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, track and field, volleyball (indoor and beach), weightlifting, wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman)


Olympic terms: 

Some items are capitalized after the word Olympic (always capitalized), some are not. These include: 

  • Olympic Village
  • Olympic flame
  • Olympic Stadium
  • Olympic opening ceremony and closing ceremony
  • Olympic gold medal


The Olympic flame route will end at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony. 


Olympic venues (in Paris and surrounding towns): 

Bercy Arena (artistic gymnastics, basketball, trampoline gymnastics)

Bordeaux Stadium (soccer)

Champ de Mars Arena (judo, wrestling)

Chateau de Versailles (equestrian, modern pentathlon)

Eiffel Tower Stadium (beach volleyball)

Elancourt Hill (mountain bike cycling)

Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium (soccer)

Grand Palais (fencing, taekwondo)

Hotel de Ville (athletics - marathon start)

Invalides (archery, athletics - marathon finish, road cycling - time trial start)

La Beaujoire Stadium (soccer)

La Concorde Urban Park (3X3 basketball, breaking, BMX freestyle cycling, skateboarding)

Le Bourget Sport Climbing Venue (sport climbing)

Le Golf National (golf)

Lyon Stadium (soccer)

Marseille Marina (sailing) 

Marseille Stadium (soccer) 

Nice Stadium (soccer) 

North Paris Arena (boxing, modern pentathlon)

Olympic Aquatics Centre (artistic swimming, diving, water polo)

Parc des Princes (soccer)

Paris La Defense Arena (swimming, water polo)

Pierre Mauroy Stadium (basketball, handball)

Pont Alexandre III (road cycling - time trial finish, marathon swimming - finish, triathlon)

Porte de La Chapelle Arena (badminton, rhythmic gymnastics)

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines BMX Stadium (BMX racing cycling)

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Velodrome (track cycling)

Stade de France (athletics, rugby sevens, closing ceremony)

Stade Roland Garros (boxing, tennis)

South Paris Arena (handball, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting)

Trocadero (athletics - race walk, road cycling - road race start and finish, opening ceremony)

Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium (canoe sprint, canoe slalom, rowing)

Yves-du-Manoir Stadium (field hockey)



Held in Paris from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, the event includes 4,400 athletes with physical impairments from all over the world. Paralympic as an adjective is always capitalized.

  • Paralympic Games
  • Paralympic organizers
  • Paralympic gold medal

Paralympics is also capitalized as a noun, similar to the Olympics.

  • Paris Paralympics.

Paralympic athletes are known as Paralympians.


Paris Games, Paris Olympics:

Always capitalize. Also, the year always precedes the host city and Olympics:  2024 Paris Olympics, 2024 Paris Games. Do not use Paris 2024 Olympics or Paris 2024 Games. Paris 2024 is a commonly-used marketing term, but is not AP style.


I cannot wait for the swimming events at the 2024 Paris Olympics.


Nicole Schuman is Managing Editor for PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal