Olympic Games

The Olympics section gives you an insight into the Olympic sports and the Olympic spirit.

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In timed Olympic events, the difference between gold and silver can come down to a fraction of a second. You won't find that kind of accuracy in your typical wristwatch. Find out about the systems (and backup systems) that keep Olympic timing honest.

By Lacy Perry & Kate Kershner

The Olympics aren't too far off so get ready! This article chronicles the history of the Olympic torch reveals how it is designed to stay lit through all weather conditions and follows its path from Olympia Greece to the Olympic Games.

By Stephanie Watson

When every fraction of a second counts, a false start can completely change the outcome of a race. How are officials quick enough detect a false start?


The pole vault originated in Europe where men used the pole to cross canals filled with water. In this article we will learn a little bit about the history of pole vaulting and then explore the physics of the sport.

By Karim Nice

If you have been watching competitive fencing at the Olympics or in a college match, you know that fencing is an unusual sport, and it uses some very interesting equipment for scoring! Learn the ins and outs of different types of swordsmanship!

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

It seems as if hardly a day passes without a sports star being busted for using performance-enhancing drugs. Even with the sophisticated random and mandatory drug testing in most sports, a lot of athletes still think taking them is worth the risk. Why is that and how do these drugs really work?

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Kevin P. Allen