Articles on Rio 2016

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Does it make sense to target female athletes with high testosterone levels? Caster Semenya competes in the women’s 800-meter semifinal during the London Olympics. Gary Hershorn/Reuters

So what if some female Olympians have high testosterone?

Some women naturally produce high levels of testosterone. Why is this innate condition treated differently from other conditions that potentially enhance athletic performance?
In the 100m final, every hundredth of a second gained or lost in the race counts. Reuters/Carlos Barria

What makes a winning sprinter?

The fastest male and female sprinters attain incredible top running speeds with peaks in excess of 44km per hour and 38km per hour, respectively, in the men's and women's 100m races.
Urban planning was once an Olympic event, although the first gold medal – awarded to Germany’s Alfred Hensel for the Nuremberg stadium – turned out to be an unfortunate choice.

‘No More Hunger’ Games: if only we cared about the real-world Liveability Olympics

Imagine cities competed to eliminate hunger, poverty, unemployment, crime and greenhouse emissions, and to offer housing and transport for all. Don't scoff – urban planning was once an Olympic event.
The 100m final in Rio will be won in a time that would have seemed impossible to the athletes competing in Athens in 1896.

Higher, faster, stronger: Olympic athletics by numbers

As the track and field events are about to start in Rio, we look at how some athletic events have changed since the first Olympics in 1896.
Olympic authorities were quick to deny that the green pool posed a risk to divers’ health, but that actually depends on why the water changed colour. Reuters/Antonio Bronic

Going for … green? Why Rio’s swimming pools are changing colour

The possible culprits are: a sudden algae bloom; a change in pool alkalinity; or a chemical reaction in the water. How do these cause a change in the colour of the water?
Athletes must execute their individualised race plan to the best of their ability to win. Reuters/Michael Dalder

Explainer: what makes a winning swimmer?

Races at the international level are often decided by as little as 0.01 of a second.
Protesters wearing masks of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin take part in a demonstration against the country’s ‘anti-gay’ laws outside the Embassy of the Russian Federation in London, February 2014. Reuters/Neil Hall

Homosexuality and the Olympic movement: towards better Games

Sport remains “one of the last bastions of cultural and institutional homophobia” in Western societies. But there is progress.

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