Articles on London Olympics

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Initial suspicions about Nadzeya Ostapchuk’s performance appear to have been well-founded. EPA/Diego Azubel

Shot put gold medallist disqualified for doping: so what is metenolone?

The International Olympic Committee yesterday announced that Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk, the women’s shot-put champion at the London Olympics, had tested positive to metenolone on August 5 and August…
Offering rewards for medal-winning performances didn’t help Australia’s swimming team. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Swimming Australia’s incentive model was a failure: fact

Three weeks before the Olympics, Swimming Australia imposed a new “high-performance” funding model on its swimmers, reportedly to “see medallists rewarded”. The timing made it difficult, even unpatriotic…
Australia’s Olympic Chief John Coates has started a debate about the role of sport in the school curriculum. School sport image from www.shutterstock.com

Coates’ Olympic school push: do we need more sport in curriculum?

Australia’s recent medal performance at the Olympic Games has caused Australia’s Olympic Chief John Coates some concern. Last week, he blamed at least part of the result on a lack of sport in the school…
The flags of 204 nations were on display in London, but do “nations” even exist? Christophe Karaba/EPA

The Olympic closing ceremony celebrates the myth of nations

As I sat there this morning watching the London 2012 closing ceremony, I was impressed by the artistry, choreography, stage-setting (an artistry unto itself), music and the sense of celebration in the…
Seven Cameroonians disappeared this week … but why? EPA/Dennis M. Sabangan

The case of the lost athletes – when Olympians seek asylum

Every four years, the Olympics brings us plenty of drama on and off the sports field. This year has been no different with seven athletes from Cameroon absconding from the Olympic village and more anticipated…
Coming first is worth celebrating … but not winning gold shouldn’t be commiserated. EPA/Robert Ghement

Gold standard: are we obsessed with Olympic victory?

The decorated Australian swimmer, Emily Seebohm, climbed out of the pool in tears last week … because she won silver. Through a tear-streaked interview, Seebohm apologised to her parents, her coach, and…
Will the London Olympics lead to increased participation in grassroots sport? BELAMBRA CLUBS

The sports legacy of the Olympic Games

While competition at the London Olympics only runs for 19 days, the Games are likely to have an impact far beyond this brief period of time. Or so we’re told. In this video Stephen Frawley discusses the…
Feats of athletic brilliance have the power to lift and inspire. Glacier Tim

Better than gold: the real value of the Olympic Games

The London Olympics and Paralympics have arrived at the perfect time. It’s almost like we need a good dose of sporting inspiration, courage and positivity to help get us back on track. Despite being a…
The value of Olympic medals should be weighted against factors such as national GDP and population. Welsh Government

How much does the medal tally really say about Olympic success?

The recriminations started early this time around. The Olympic flame was barely fired up before administrators, politicians and pundits alike were weighing in on Australia’s poor performance. John Coates…
No matter how sophisticated testing is, it can’t catch everyone. EPA/Justin Setterfield

How many Olympic athletes are taking drugs?

John Fahey, the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), promised before the London Olympics that anti-doping testing at Games would employ the latest advancements and would be as rigorous as…
It’s hard to stay at the top forever … especially when everyone else is rapidly improving. Patrick B Kraemer/EPA

Muddy waters: do we need an Australian swimming review?

The knives are well and truly out. With no gold medals coming from champion Australian swimmers James Magnussen, Stephanie Rice, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper and a handful of relay teams at the London…
When aiming for Olympic success, it’s important to get many factors right, not just funding. Gwydion M. Williams

Spend big to win big? Funding and success at the Olympics

When Naomi Fischer-Rasmussen stepped into the ring to represent Australia in the women’s middleweight boxing category last Sunday afternoon (GMT), she became the first Australian woman to compete in boxing…
Margins may get smaller, but will they ever disappear? josterpi

VIDEO: pushing at the limits of athletic ability

Will records keep tumbling as athletes get fitter and technology develops? Or is there a limit to human performance? Kate Murphy investigates. Further viewing: VIDEO: doping, drug testing and the Olympics…
South African athlete Caster Semenya was subject to gender testing following the 2009 athletics world championships. EPA/Kim Ludbrook

Beyond ‘men’ and ‘women’: the fraught issue of Olympic gender testing

In June, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated that some athletes at the London Olympics, though legally female, may be subject to testing to see if their bodies produce an above-average quantity…
Pasta and other carbohydrate-rich foods can boost muscle glycogen stores. chrismar

Carbo loading for sport is simple … when you know how

During the London Olympics, and beyond, many endurance athletes will attempt to increase their muscle glycogen stores by carbohydrate loading. This is because, despite its importance, glycogen is a fuel…
The tough cross-country course at the London Olympics was the undoing of some of the world’s best event horses and riders last week. AAP/LOCOG Bob Martin

Horses for courses: what makes the perfect equine Olympian?

A horse is a horse is a horse, right? Not so at the Olympics, where the equestrian events are unique among sports. Equestrian is the only discipline in which the human athlete relies on another living…
Running forward is so backward. Alessandro Pautasso

Running backward into the Olympic Games?

Backward running is the latest craze to hit the health and fitness world. After the seven-minute mile was recently cracked, advocates are campaigning for its inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games. So what…
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands takes gold in the London 2012 women’s road race. Ian Langsdon/EPA

Olympic cycling – why do men’s and women’s events differ?

You’ll have noticed the distances ridden by female and male elite cyclists differ in some Olympic events and are identical in others, which raises the obvious question: why? If we really wanted to simplify…
A zero-tolerance approach to doping? “That is pure fantasy …”

VIDEO: doping, drug testing and the Olympics

Bob Stewart of Victoria University discusses doping, cheating and suggestions that drug testing at London 2012 is the most comprehensive we’ve ever seen at an Olympic Games. Further viewing: VIDEO: why…

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