I’ve come across a lot of great links over the course of writing the #Sochi2014 series, and I want to highlight some of my favorites here. Be sure to check them out for some great behind-the-scenes looks at Olympic sport science and technology.
- Ski Racing covers the intriguing history behind speed suit development. Of particular interest is the development of Spyder’s Speedwyre suit, which featured a tripwire to induce turbulent flow. The suits were so effective at increasing skiers’ speeds that skiing’s governing body outlawed them ahead of the 1998 Olympics. There are similar restrictions in the speed suits of other sports, but sometimes people get away with it. (h/t @YvesDubief)
- A must-watch: Sir David Attenborough narrates curling.
- Smarter Every Day has had some awesome Olympics-themed infographics during the Games. Some favorites: how clapskates work, how to do an axel jump, an illustration of ski jumping, how curling stones curl, and the basics of curling.
- The National Science Foundation put together a whole series of videos on the science and engineering of the Winter Olympics.
- CBS goes inside the BMW redesign of the US bobsleds, luge, and skeleton sleds.
- Wired took an in-depth look at using science to improve an alpine skier’s performance.
- It’s originally from 2010, but SciAm has a neat podcast on the physics of curling. They also give some background on the granite in the stones, which comes from one particular island off Scotland.
- The distinctive V-style of ski jumping may have developed as a result of an athlete’s mid-air seizure. (via @YvesDubief)
- Inrng compares the aerodynamics of cycling and skiing, wondering if skiers are leaving precious tenths behind on the hill due to bulky equipment.
(Photo credit: A. Bello/Getty Images)