As the Rio Games begin, The New York Times transports you to some of the iconic Olympic moments, from Babe Didrikson’s paradigm-shifting victories in 1932 to the nearly superhuman feats of gold medalists like Bob Beamon and Usain Bolt. The Times collaborated with The Mill, a visual effects and content creation studio, to transform archival imagery into historical settings our viewers can visit.
Eric Chang, a creative director on the project, explains the approach: It was an exciting prospect to work with this archival material, which presented an interesting opportunity. Photography is somewhat subtractive – the goal is often to focus on a specific action. Virtual reality is additive. The viewer controls the direction of focus, so as environment-builders we have to account for that.
In addition, you can listen to David Goldblatt, author of “The Games: A Global History of the Olympics,” and you’ll hear exclusive interviews with greats like Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Beamon as you witness the instant some of these athletes made history.