Athletics

all 17 articles

The UK’s Chris Froome dons the yellow jersey as he whips around a turn during the 17th stage of the 102nd Tour de France. Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Why doesn’t the fastest cyclist win the Tour de France?

Even before this year's race began, only five or six riders had any real chance of winning.
Usain Bolt surprisingly synchronised his steps with Tyson Gay (left) when he broke the world record at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2009. AAP/Christophe Karaba

The secret to Usain Bolt’s speed may lie in synchronicity

Synchronising his steps with the next fastest runner may have helped Usain Bolt win the world record in the 100 metre sprint.
Does training relentlessly and regularly lead to greatness? "Nine" via www.shutterstock.com

To excel in youth sports, kids need couch time

Parents want to simultaneously support and push their kids. But when it comes to sports, this mentality can backfire in subtle ways.
Even for middle-class families, the growing costs of youth sports can be a huge burden. 'Baseball' via www.shutterstock.com

The troubling price of playing youth sports

In a $5 billion industry, there's no longer a level playing field.
It’s hard for a human to keep an eye all the players' performance in any game, such as this typical AFL match at the MCG in Melbourne. So let the machines do all the work. Flickr/Sascha Wenninger

Games by numbers: machine learning is changing sport

When it comes to keeping an eye on all the action in sport a coach can only see so much. But machine learning can crunch all the data and look for improvements.
Whether kids play pickup sports or organized sports may have varying effects on their development. Tony Baldasaro/Flickr

Can youth sports foster creativity? It depends

Youth sports are viewed as a rite of passage in a child’s development. If the clichés that permeate sports broadcasts and locker room speeches are to be believed, sports participation teaches children…
Even at major NCAA Division I schools like Alabama, whether or not their athletic programs turn a profit varies by year. Tim Murphy/Flickr

Who actually funds intercollegiate athletic programs?

Parents, government officials, and tuition-paying students are all seeking solutions to the skyrocketing costs of higher education and the burden of student debt. Currently, public universities in America…
Record breaking. EPA/Christophe Karaba

Can a human ever run 100m under nine seconds?

It is never easy to run 100m in less than ten seconds, as the recent Commonwealth Games demonstrated. However, as the world record stands at 9.58 seconds, the attention in recent years has turned to whether…
World champion sprinters Tyson Gay (centre) and Asafa Powell (right) have tested positive to the banned substance oxilofrine. EPA/Peter Klaunzer

We know Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell … but what’s oxilofrine?

American sprinter Tyson Gay and former 100m world record-holder Jamaican Asafa Powell are reported to be among six athletes to test positive for a banned substance: oxilofrine. But what is this drug that…
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…
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…
Ceilings on physical ability are there – sometimes – to be broken. EPA/Hannibal

Is there a limit to athletic performance?

We once thought no-one could run a mile in less than four minutes – and yet the current world record stands at three minutes, 43 seconds. So will records keep tumbling as people get fitter and technology…
“Blade Runner’s” selection for the London Olympics has made sporting history. RAINER JENSEN/EPA

Oscar Pistorius and the Olympics: good news or bad for sport?

Oscar Pistorius – the South African double amputee athlete known as Blade Runner – will run at the at the London Olympics. Until a week ago, his hopes of inclusion in the South African Olympic team looked…

Top contributors

More