Science at the Olympic Games

Every two years, the world gathers around their television sets to watch the Olympic Games. Elite athletes from around the world come together in a new host city to compete against one another in either Winter or Summer sports. Right now, the 2020 Games in Tokyo are underway, after having postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Each event showcases feats of strength, training, mental fortitude and — yes — science! Below are some resources to help you talk science in the context of sports.

From Integrative Biology of Exercise, available here:
Photo by Victor Freitas on
  • Gymnastics is all about PHYSICS! As the athletes twist and tumble through the air, they’re working agains gravity, air, and their own bodies. This brief article explains the physics behind some common events in gymnastics.
  • Since we are in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic, athletes, coaches, referees, and volunteers at Tokyo Summer Olympics must take precautions to prevent the spread of disease. This gives you the opportunity to talk about disease prevention and testing, as well as basic epidemiology (that is, tracking the spread of infectious agents through a community).
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