Articles on London Olympics

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Goodnight, sleep tight? Not if these critters have anything to do with it. Lynn Friedman

VIDEO: bed bugs at London 2012

In a co-production between SBS World News Australia and The Conversation, University of Sydney’s Cameron Webb explains why bed bugs will almost certainly bite at the London Olympics. It’s creepy. Enjoy…
Even the most avid TV Olympian can avoid ending up like this. Henti Smith

Olympics sleep survival guide

It’s half-time in the gold medal women’s basketball game, and the Opals lead the USA by a point. Lauren Jackson, the best female basketballer in the world, has dominated the first half in the same way…
With £50m likely to be bet on the Olympics, there are plenty of opportunities for trouble. fictures/Flickr

Illegal betting: the next big Olympics security issue?

London 2012 will be the first Olympic Games with very public betting opportunities for all events. One estimate for bets to be wagered in the United Kingdom during the Games is £50m. Work has been underway…
Since 1936, host nations have been using the Olympics to toot their own horn. M. Eschle

Politics in the Olympics: learning from Nazi Germany

The 1936 Olympics, hosted by Nazi Germany, took a sporting event designed to promote goodwill among nations, and turned it into a global propaganda platform. Host nations haven’t looked back since. At…
Do the economic costs outweigh the benefits of hosting an Olympic Games? AAP

Hosting the Olympics: cash cow or money pit?

The London Olympic Games are about to begin. There will be much fierce competition as contestants “go for gold”. That London is the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympics involved another sort of competition…
The Olympic Games operate as a very complex franchise business, with each city taking a different approach to the management of the event. AAP

Managing the Games franchise is an Olympian feat

Tell me something I don’t know about the Olympics! This statement, levelled at me at a dinner party last week, is the most recent incarnation of enquiries about my research into the Olympic Games. Always…
Physics puts a limit on how far you can throw a javelin. Airman Magazine

Yes, there is a limit to athletic ability – physics

In a recent thought-provoking article in The Conversation, Kate Murphy posed the question: “Is there a limit to athletic performance?”. The answer, mathematically speaking, is yes. Kate considered the…
Women now compete in every sport at the Summer Olympics, and every country is sending a female athlete. EPA/Diego Azubel

A long jump forward: women at the London Olympics

This trend will continue into the 2014 Winter Olympics with women permitted for the first time to compete in ski jumping. Since their inclusion in the modern Olympics in Paris in 1900, female participation…
A crowd can be a lot to handle, even when they’re happy. Dean Lewins/AAP

Computing the chances of Olympic crowd chaos

Handling crowds on major events is a huge challenge for organisers, and the Olympics Organising Committee will be dealing with some of the biggest crowds there are. Simulating such crowds could be one…
Australian sport policy is based on the assumption that success at the Olympics will translate into greater participation rates among children. rich115

Olympics success leaves a mixed legacy for Australia’s sporting life

Given the size of our population, Australia’s success at the past three Summer Olympic Games has been quite remarkable. Across the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympic Games, the nation’s athletes have won…
The focus on human rights during the Beijing Olympics made little difference. Akira Liwang/EPA

Human rights and the Olympics: games of freedom or oppression?

When we think of the Olympic Games, we think of an athletic event: well-honed bodies at the peak of physical ability, performing feats most of us can only dream of. But, despite fervent assertions to the…
If an athlete believes sex will harm their performance, there’s a good chance it will. Slagheap

Sex before sport: does it affect an athlete’s performance?

From the ancient Greeks to modern soccer World Cups and the Olympics, there has been an enduring belief by some athletes and coaches that engaging in sexual activity before athletic competitions may be…
There’s a lot of glory in being an Olympian; it can be shattering to just miss out. Matthew Stewart

Explainer: qualifying for the Olympic Games

Athletes are generally seen as a stoic, tough, uncomplaining lot. But the last few weeks before an Olympics always tend to bring on athletic tantrums. As the last chances for Olympic selection fade away…
The US is expected to dine out on its successes at London 2012. US Army

And the winner is …? Predicting gold medals at the Olympics

A small number of countries competing at the Olympic Games will win a large proportion of the medals available. There are 80 countries competing in London who have yet to win a single medal in the Olympics…
Olympics are sold on the benefits their infrastructure will bring, but sometimes reality doesn’t match the promise. CmdrCord

London 2012: infrastructure legacy or a costly waste?

When London won the Olympics, it was booming. The GFC changed everything. In 2008, Tessa Jowell, minister for the Olympics, said: “Had we known what we know now, would we have bid for the Olympics? Almost…
Coke has apparently shared the Olympic ideals since 1928. Michael Francis McCarthy

Olympics sponsorship: supporting sport or funding fat?

What does the Olympics stand for: is it the inspiration for a healthier, sportier community? Or is it just another way to sell junk food and booze to an ever-fatter, ever-drunker population of couch potatoes…
London’s Olympic Lanes are getting a lot of negative coverage, but they’re not a recent invention. Joe Goldberg

London Olympics transport - not as bad as you might have heard

The London Olympic Games open on July 27, but designating one lane on the M4 motorway between Heathrow Airport and Central London as an “Olympic Lane” for athletes, officials, sponsors and media has already…
Would it be so bad if a pill that improved athletic performance was available to everyone? Dave Campbell

What if doping were legal at the Olympics?

The Olympics is arguably the greatest show of combined physical and mental prowess we’ll ever see. The Games challenge competitors and challenge the watching public to think about the achievements they’re…
Scientists are looking for ever-more-sophisticated ways to find and optimise athletes. Steven Johnson

Athletic ability and genetics: can science spot a sure-fire winner?

For more than 50 years, sport scientists have used a variety of physical tests to try and identify those exceptional athletes who walk among us. Despite most countries having some sort of athlete talent…
Sydney’s Olympics transport couldn’t have been smoother; London’s has already ground to a halt. Andy Rain/EPA

Olympics transport: how did Sydney handle it?

The London Olympics seems paralysed with problems. The latest is protests from taxi drivers - who say they need access to special “Olympics lanes” - which have brought traffic to a halt. Is London going…

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