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Science and the Olympic Games

Science and the Olympic Games have long been closely associated. Scientific innovation in training and sports technology have helped in the development of athletic performances. Science has been at the forefront of the drug testing and gender testing of recent years, and the results of athletes and sports continue to be heavily studied. Here are some examples of the role science is playing in the Olympic Games.


Anthropometric measurements have been taken of Olympic athletes, which provide an interesting analysis of changes in body size and shape of the world's elite athletes over time. See more on Olympic Anthropometry.


There has been analysis of sporting technique from as early as the 1900 Olympic Games. See details.

olympic Games Standing High Jump Diagram of Ray Ewry performing a standing highjump
from: 1900 Olympic Games Official Report, p399


Olympic athletes look for every advantage they can, and will seek advice of a sports dietitian to ensure they maximize their performance. We have listed and analyzed the food supply at the Olympic Village for the last few Olympic Games, and also discussed the diets of athletes at previous modern Olympic Games. See more on Sports Nutrition for Olympic Athletes and 2000 Olympic Games Nutrition Research.


Throughout the history of the modern Olympics, there has been many examples of the use of emerging technology associated with the Olympic Games. See more on the Technology use at the Olympics.


At the 1904 Olympic Games in St Louis, there were two "Anthropology Days", a "scientific experiment" where a variety of men from indigenous populations, including Pygmies, Filipinos, Patagonians and various American Indian tribes, competed in various events so that anthropologists could see how they compared to the white man. These were thankfully never repeated. See more on the Olympics Anthropology Days

Data Analysis

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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