How does blood doping boost performance in events like the Tour de France? Do anabolic steroids help the world's fastest man run faster? In his book, Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat , Chris Cooper discusses how these banned drugs work, or don't — and how they are detected.
The world record for high jump — the event in which a person hurdles himself over a horizontal bar — is just over 8 feet. That's like leaping over a stop sign, and clearing it by a foot. Jesus Dapena, of Indiana University, has studied the high jump for 30 years, filming athletes to understand exactly how they produce the force required to clear the bar.
This year, the Olympics fall during the Muslim holy month, and some athletes have to make a choice: be in top physical condition, or maintain a primary tenet of their faith. Fasting for Ramadan can be a physical and mental challenge, but it poses a particular dilemma for Muslims competing in London.
For athletes anywhere, just qualifying for the Olympics can be a full-time job. But in India, training full-time is a luxury few can afford. That means many work part-time government jobs. And for the lucky athlete, it can result in a job for life.
Corporations pay a lot of money to be official Olympic sponsors, so there are strict rules about who can and can't use the games to promote their products — rules the Olympic Committee isn't shy about enforcing. Just ask a group of knitters who recently got a cease and desist letter from the USOC.
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