Remember the feelings of thrill and terror when you launched your sled down a steep snow-covered hill? American Skeleton racer John Daly has been doing that competitively for 15 years, but his sled, which slides down an ice-covered bobsled using a pair of metal runners, can actually hit speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.
THE SPEED SKATING suit has always been the technical marvel of the Winter Olympics. With high-tech fabrics and unusual construction, it’s designed to eek out every bit of athletic optimization. In a sport where a thousandth of a second can determine who gets a medal and who doesn’t, athletes rely on technology to give them an edge. “We’re trying to get the body to be more aerodynamic than it is in its natural state,” says Clay Dean, chief innovation officer at Under Armour, the company behind the suit the US speed skating team will wear in PyeongChang this February.
Usain Bolt lives up to his surname ever time he steps onto a track. He loves to brag about being the fastest man on the planet, whether cameras are focusing on him or not. Whenever the Jamaican sprinter sets his feet into the block, it’s not uncommon to witness this guy make history in track and field.
ZOOM IN ON the details of just about any Olympic event and you can find some cool physics. Today, let’s look at the arrow in archery. It seems so simple: fletching, a shaft, and a point. It’s basically a sharp stick with some feathers. But if you watch an arrow fly in slow motion, you see something cool:
What does it take to be an Olympic gold medalist? WIRED takes in-depth look at the mechanics behind the athletes featuring Connor Dwyer, Elizabeth Biesel, Matt Grevers, Nathan Adrian, Rayler Clary, and Ryan Lochte.
Several Olympic athletes, including swimmer Michael Phelps, have appeared in Rio with odd-looking circular marks on their bodies. These marks are the result of “cupping therapy,” a traditional Chinese medicinal practice for muscle healing. But does it really work?