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Relation Between the Olympics and Science

  • Date Submitted: 03/16/2010 03:07 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.9 
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Many people are shocked to see that a young girl named Tessa Virtue from Windsor, paired with another teenager, are the youngest pair from North America to win gold. The skaters who win medals in the Olympics have jumps that leave the audience breathless, but how can they do so when most people can barely jump high enough to make one revolution in the air? This relates to both the Olympics and the topic of physics. Physiology also relates to the winter Olympics. Skiing involves more muscle groups than jogging or running, so the overall cardiovascular demand and energy expenditure involved in skiing may be as high as, or higher than, the energy expenditure involved in jogging or running. The final topic that relates to the winter Olympics is psychology, and the relationships between personality and sport performance. Physics and biomechanics, physiology, and psychology are all associated with both the 2010 winter Olympics and science.
Physics or biomechanics is one of the largest common topics between science and the 2010 winter Olympics. In winter sports such as speed skating and ski jumping, air resistance is critically important, especially at fast speeds. Skaters perform quadruples that have fast rotation speeds, yet elegant and smooth take-offs and landings. In figure skating, the skater's generally are not moving fast enough for air resistance to affect their jumps. To get the biggest jump, skaters take-off at about a 45 degree angle. They also generate as much take-off velocity as possible. Since the skater is already moving horizontally when he or she performs a jump, it would make sense to say that all they need to make the jump is a vertical velocity, equal to the incoming horizontal velocity. But in reality, the skaters horizontal speed is lost through friction caused by their skates and the ice. This friction may slow down the skater's approach into the jump, but it will also allow the skater to push against the ice to generate the force they need to...


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