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Special Report

The Winter Olympics brings out the best in not only athletes, but the world of science and innovation. (Michael Joiner, 360info)

Credits CC BY 4.0 : Michael Joiner, 360info The Winter Olympics brings out the best in not only athletes, but the world of science and innovation. (Michael Joiner, 360info) Credits CC BY 4.0 : Michael Joiner, 360info

As the best winter athletes compete for gold in Beijing, we look at the stories that go beyond the sports.

The world’s best are in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. In a Games like no other, athletes are traversing difficult COVID-19 regulations while launching their bids to take home Olympic gold.

The feats that winter athletes pull off seem to defy all logic and belief — watching slopestyle snowboarders spin from dizzying heights, seeing speed skaters zoom across the ice or the thundering run of a bobsled.

But behind the athletic champions competing at the Winter Olympics is a reserve of science, training and data that has helped them reach the pinnacle of their chosen sport.

The science and statistics behind the stars of the Winter Olympics may not make it onto the podium, but is a crucial aspect of all contemporary sporting success stories.

It all plays a role: from training regimes to help competitors maximise results whilst minimising injury, to their equipment choices, to the structures in place around athletes to help their headspace.

REALITY CHECK

Beijing is hosting the 24th Winter Olympic Games. It is the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Olympics, having held the latter in 2008.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) estimates there are approximately 2,900 athletes in Beijing competing in the Winter Olympics.

There will be 109 events contested during the competition — seven of which are new (monobob, mixed team ski jumping, Freeski Big Air, mixed team snowboard cross, short track team relay and mixed team freestyle skiing aerials).

Norway has won the most medals in Winter Olympic history, bringing in a total of 368. The United States is a distant second at 305 medals, followed by Germany with 359.

PERSPECTIVES

Athlete well-being in the spotlight at Olympics
Courtney C. Walton, University of Melbourne

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics could be uniquely difficult athletes’ mental health unprecedented challenges — but there are tools to help.

Cross-country skiing not quite the marathon
Ken Nosaka, Edith Cowan University 

Cross-country skiing is one of the most captivating endurance events at the Olympics — so how do the athletes get back on the snow so quickly after a race?

Material difference in ski technology
By Marc Zupan, UMBC-University of Maryland, Baltimore County

High-tech materials have moved beyond the preserve of elite ski athletes. These days, skiers across all level  exploit ground-breaking materials technology.

Smarter than your average Olympian
By Hans Westerbeek, Victoria University

They may not be prominent on the slopes, but intelligent machines are busy at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Originally published under Creative Commons by 360info™.

Editors Note: Framing article

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Authors
Ken Nosaka, Edith Cowan University; Courtney C. Walton, University of Melbourne; By Hans Westerbeek, Victoria University; Marc Zupan, UMBC-University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Editor
Reece Hooker, 360info
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