Contact-building and planning paid off at the unveiling of the top-secret design of the Paris Olympic medals for this team consisting of chief Paris correspondent John Leicester, digital video producer Amira Borders, video journalists Helena Alves and Alex Turnbull, and senior field producer Masha Macpherson.

Leicester has spent years cultivating sources to ensure AP is competitive on the Paris Olympics despite being in a country where AFP is the national news agency and gets automatic favor. This helped him get exclusive embargoed video material and access which led to big play and viral videos from Alves, Turnbull, Macpherson and Borders.

The video received 1.6 million views on Instagram, 1.4 million views on TikTok and was the No. 1 video over the past 30 days on both platforms. Teen and young adult viewers were notably among those who tuned into the social video, drawing a new stream of viewers to AP’s Olympic coverage at a crucial time.