Google Is Sending More Than a Dozen YouTube Stars to Rio to Livestream the Olympics

Ramps up coverage with search, maps and mobile

Headshot of Marty Swant

Google is bringing its team of tech offerings to the 2016 Olympics this month in hopes of winning part of the online action.

Just in time for the summer games, which officially begin on Friday, Google is sending 15 of its YouTube stars to livestream various parts of the games and other events across host city Rio de Janeiro. Among them will be YouTube stars Liza Koshy, Brodie Smith, Ben Brown, Caeli, Chloe Morello and Felipe Castanhari.

Along with the Creators (as YouTube calls its content creators) the online giant is also deploying "Google Trekker" operators to capture 360-degree footage from inside Rio's Olympic Park that will help those who can't make it to Brazil get a street-view look via Google Maps at what it's like on the ground.

For those who want to follow along with everything else happening, Google is launching a way to find the Olympic schedules via Google Search, along with info about medal counts and athlete information. (Users of Google's mobile app for both Android and iOS will be able to opt in for automatic updates about the main events and the athletes that win them.)

This year's games are expected to be the most-watched online Olympics ever. In the past year, YouTube users have viewed 23,000 years worth of Olympic athletics, swimming, gymnastics and volleyball footage. According to a blog post today by Google's head of news and sports partnerships for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Christoph Heimes, nearly two-thirds of that viewing has been on mobile devices.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company will also be making TV schedules available in more than 30 countries and partnering with the BBC, América Móvil and NHK to broadcast event highlights in 60 countries

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.