Articles on London Olympics

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Machine learning techniques can help riders stand out from the rest of the field. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Riding smart: how AI gives Olympic track cyclists an edge

With track cycling events now underway at the London Olympics, athletes from around the world are pushing themselves to the limit to outperform their rivals and, hopefully, claim gold. Back here in Melbourne…
What percentage of Londoners said they wanted the Olympics? No one knows. Christopher Bevacqua

The Olympics are illegitimate: a call for democracy in sport

As the giant bureaucratic beast that is the IOC lumbers through London, locals can be heard saying, “I don’t remember voting for this”. The Olympics is a strangely undemocratic affair: locals of host cities…
Despite offering prime viewing positions, many allocated tickets have not been used. Peter Klaunzer/EPA

Bums not on seats? Blame the Olympic Family

One of the biggest criticisms levelled at organisers of the London Olympics so far has been the obvious large number of empty seats at Games venues. So why are so many seats empty? What’s being done about…
When Melbourne hosted the Olympics in 1956 they demonstrated - what else? - Australian Rules Football. George Yi

Sideshow alley? Demonstration sports at the Olympic Games

The focus of the Olympic Games is quite rightly on athletes who compete in contests where medals are awarded. However, many obscure events, for which medals were not awarded, have been a feature of the…
They’ve got no official country, but they don’t seem to mind. EPA/Kerim Okten

Doing it for themselves: being an Independent Olympic Athlete

One of the delights of watching the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games was the spontaneous dance routine and joyful celebration of the Independent Olympic Athletes. Images and videos of…
Time (of the month) stands still for no woman, but how does it affect elite performance? Hannibal/EPA

Blood, sweat and tears: the menstrual cycle and the Olympics

For some female athletes, “counting the days” to their Olympic event may have a double meaning. These Olympians may be worried about “what time of the month” it is going to be when they are expected to…
WADA is determined to wipe out doping at the Olympics, and to bring public opinion along with it. Department for Culture, Media & Sport

More Olympic drug testing than ever, but why do we bother?

From a drug-use control perspective, the 2012 London Olympic Games (LOG) will be the “biggest ever”. Since the Ben Johnson affair at the 1988 Seoul Olympics there has been a concerted effort to secure…
Pastoral nostalgia: people fretted about opening-ceremony animals but not the huge out-of-sight slaughter that’s feeding athletes and spectators. AAP/Dean Lewins

Animals — the meat in the Olympic sandwich

The role of animals in the Olympics — both during the opening ceremony and throughout the wider competition — is rightly generating controversy. When it was first announced that non-human animals would…
The difficulty of dives in competition increases every Olympics. EPA/Dennis M Sabangan

Not making a splash: the anatomy of a perfect Olympic dive

Diving is one of the most graceful and spectacular sports in the world, and every four years, at the Olympics, it captures the attention of audiences worldwide. So what goes into the perfect dive? Diving…
There’s a lot of prestige to volunteering at the Olympics – working Tuesday mornings at the Salvo shop may not offer the same rewards. London 2012

Volunteering at the Olympics is a thrill, but will it last?

Without volunteers, the Olympics would be a disaster. But will the “Games Makers” - the army of 70,000 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers - stimulate a spirit of volunteerism in and beyond London? Volunteering…
Presumptice Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney managed to offend his British hosts on his recent visit. EPA/Neil Munns

Romneyshambles: how not to win foreign friends and influence important people

On its trip abroad, the Mitt Romney campaign would have done well to heed the advice US presidential candidates are given in a selecting a VP: “First, do no harm.” Upon arrival in the United Kingdom, however…

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