14 AP style tips for the Winter Olympics

With the 2014 Winter Games in full swing, make sure your content meets Associated Press guidelines for spelling, usage, and capitalization.

As Sochi, Russia, took center stage with the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Friday night, writers began vying for the glory of perfection in their coverage.

The Associated Press has published its editorial style guide for the XXII Winter Olympic Games, compiling relevant terms, spelling, style, and usage. The gathering in Sochi will feature about 3,000 athletes from more than 80 nations participating in 98 medal events across 15 sports.

While U.S. skiers Bode Miller and Ted Ligety tear up the slopes and Team USA’s skaters dazzles viewers, writers can incorporate the AP’s Olympic guidelines:

bobsled: Proper style for one of the Olympic events; identify events as women’s bob; two-man bob; four-man bob.

face off; faceoff: Use face off as a verb, and faceoff as a noun and adjective. The hockey players will face off tomorrow; the faceoff was intense.

figure skating: Proper style for one of the favorite Olympic events; identify jumps as double axel; triple flip-triple toe loop; triple Lutz, etc.

IOC/International Olympic Committee: Use either full term or abbreviation for first reference.

Medals: When counting medals, use singular form: four gold, six silver and 18 bronze.

New events: There are 12 new events, including women’s ski jumping, ski halfpipe, and ski and snowboard slopestyle races.

Olympian: Any athlete who has been to the Olympics.

Olympics: Capitalize all references to the international athletic contests.

record: Avoid the redundant new record.

skiing: Proper style for the popular winter sport; identify events as men’s downhill, women’s slalom, cross-country, giant slalom, super-G, etc.

Sochi Games, Sochi Olympics: Capitalize references. Also, 2014 Olympics or 2014 Games. Sochi Winter Olympics and Sochi Winter Games.

speedskating: Proper style for one of the Olympic events.

The games: Lowercase games when generally referring to them.

The year: Always precedes the host city and Olympics: 2014 Olympics, 2014 Sochi Games.

Steve Vittorioso is a senior account executive at InkHouse Media + Marketing. You can follow him on Twitter at @savittorioso. A version of this story originally appeared on the Inkhouse blog.

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