The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may not begin until August, but between the torch relay beginning April 21, the fervor over the early images of Olympic uniforms, and the questions surrounding the health of athletes traveling to Brazil in the face of the Zika virus, it’s safe to say the buzz surrounding the games is well underway.

While the Associated Press generally releases special stylebook guides about major events, including the Olympics, we’ve gathered a few important general terms and rules to tide over your coverage until the official guide is released.

Olympic flame and torch relay
The Olympic flame was lit in Ancient Olympia, Greece, on April 21.

The year Always precedes the host city and Olympics: 2016 Olympics, 2012 Rio Games.

Olympics Capitalize all references to the international athletic contests: “the Olympics,” “the Summer Olympics,” “the Olympic Games,” “an Olympic-size pool,” “an Olympian.”
Note: lowercase “the games” when used alone.

IOC International Olympic Committee. Either term OK on first reference, but use full title in the story.

International sports federations. All Olympic sports are run by international federations. Avoid abbreviation “IF;” use “international federation” or “governing body.”

National Olympic committee. In news stories, avoid “NOC” and use “national Olympic committees” or “national bodies.”
Abbreviations for U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and British Olympic Association (BOA) are acceptable on second reference.

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