There won’t be any GIFs coming from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Well, there probably will be. Trying to stop the internet from making GIFs is like trying to make a dog recite Shakespeare: It just won’t happen. But that didn’t stop the International Olympic Committee from writing a letter warning broadcasters not to make any GIFs.
Here’s the relevant portion from the IOC’s letter to broadcasters (emphasis is ours):
Notwithstanding any other applicable limitation included in these NARs, Olympic Material must not be broadcast on interactive services such as ‘news active’ or ‘sports active’ or any other related Video on Demand services, which would allow the viewer to make a viewing choice within a channel and to thereby view Olympic Material at times and programs other than when broadcast as part of a News Program as set out in Clause 1 above. Additionally, the use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.
The idea is to make it so the only way to watch the Olympics is to tune in at the right time. This gives the IOC more control over how the games are broadcast and, in all likelihood, lets brands know their advertisements will be shown at a time when the most people are tuned into the displays of athletic prowess.
Here are 17 awesome GIFs from previous Olympics to show what we … well, probably won’t miss, but won’t see coming from any official broadcasters: