Articles on London Olympics

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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.
Two news outlets have alleged there was widespread cheating in endurance sports between 2001 and 2012. Peter Mooney/Flickr

The science of doping and how cheating athletes pass drug tests

Organisers of the World Championship in Athletics will be on their toes after recent revelations of mass doping by endurance athletes. Here's what you need to know about doping and how to evade it.
Three cheers for economic impact. Paul Gilham/PA

Olymponomics: politics and the measurement of impact

Since the financial disaster of the Montreal 1976 Olympics, “economic impact assessment” has become an increasingly popular tool for host governments and organisers to justify the vast expense of major…
It’s time for athletes of all abilities to compete in one event. EPA/Andy Rain

Come together: the Olympics and Paralympics should unite

It was painful to see the Olympic rings taken down from London Bridge after the Olympics only to be replaced by the Paralympics emblem (the three agitos). Aside from the fact this emblem was not chosen…
It might be time for the Paralympics movement to strike out on its own. EPA/Andy Rain

The Paralympics and Olympics are better linked than ever … but why?

In the 64 years since the Paralympics was born, the relationship between this event and the Olympics has grown and evolved. And now, with both events returning to London in 2012, the Olympics and Paralympics…
It will be time to say hello to Sochi 2014 before we know it. Russian Post

Games over: it’s time to focus on Rio (but don’t forget Sochi)

It’s only been a week since the London Olympics drew to a close and already athletes are starting to focus on Rio 2016. Of course, for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it’s not four years until…
Australia’s kayakers paddled their way to gold but don’t expect a huge increase in kayak sales in the next few months. EPA/Robert Ghement

Will the Olympics really inspire more people to play sport?

Did watching the Olympics inspire you to get out and play sport? Perhaps the gold-medal-winning effort of our men’s K4 kayaking team inspired you to take to the water. Or maybe Anna Meares’ gold in the…
Australia’s 4x100 metre medley swimming team with their gold medals. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Dollars and sense: funding and Olympic success

It is now more than 30 years since the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) opened in Canberra, so it was predictable that a modest, rather than overwhelmingly successful campaign at the London Olympics…
Kirani James’s gold medal in the men’s 400m saw Grenada lead the tally for medals won per head of population. EPA/Diego Azubel

Olympics medal count: predictions versus reality

Just before the London Olympic started, I wrote an article for The Conversation about predicting medal success. Now, with the Games behind us, it’s worth considering how well these predictions turned out…
The Olympics won’t have an effect on sport participation after the fact unless time and money are properly invested. EPA/Christian Charisius

The legacy fallacy: the Olympics doesn’t increase sport participation

This is an edited version of a letter sent to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and a number of other officials with connections to the London Olympics. Dear Prime Minister, I have spent the past two weeks…
If we want to keep producing great Olympians, we need to keep sport in schools. AAP Image/Julian Smith

From grassroots to gold: the role of school sport in Olympic success

The post-mortem of Australia’s performance at the Olympics is in full swing. Indeed the knives were being sharpened as early as day two of compeition when the men bombed out of the men’s 4x100m swimming…
Sprinter Brendan Cole (left) and swimmer Tomasso D'Orsogna enjoy the recovery facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Recovery Centre in Canberra. Australian Sports Commission

Australian Olympic athletes – underperforming or underdeveloped?

It’s no secret – Australia underperformed at the 2012 London Olympics. But was the criticism directed at our Olympians unfair on the athletes, coaches, and support staff who worked so hard, and gave up…
The Olympics are at their best they bring people together. EPA/Denis Sabangan

London 2012: an Olympics without controversy … almost

And so the London Olympics are over and we can all sit back and reflect on the past few weeks with some kind of clarity. Compared with the events of previous Games – such as the Munich Massacre of 1972…
Team GB’s medal haul helped derail Australia’s chances of achieving a predicted 15 gold. EPA/Robert Ghement

Why are we so bad at predicting Olympic medal success?

There have been a lot of questions following Australia’s below-expectation performance at the London Olympics. But the question I keep asking myself is, how did so many “experts” get their medal tally…

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