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Friday, July 13, 2012

Olympic Athletes Turn To Scientists In Going For The Gold

Hurdler Lolo Jones works with a team of coaches and sports technologists to improve her form.

Since the first modern Olympics in 1896, athletes have trained and perfected their form. Now scientists are analyzing their performance to give them the edge in races that are sometimes decided by a hundredth of a second.

In the hurdles, for instance, Lolo Jones and her trainer looked at her form during a race — they discovered her center tended to wobble as she ran down the track, which meant she was running just a bit further than she needed to.  A motion capture system was brought in to help Jones change her form.

“The athlete is sort of the tip of an increasingly large pyramid that enables their success,” journalist Mark McClusky told Here & Now’s Monica Brady-Myerov.

Guest:

  • Mark McClusky, special projects editor at Wired Magazine

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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