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Mero Antti, Paavo V. Komi, Tapio Korjus, Enrique Navarro and Robert J. Gregor

This study investigated body segment contributions to javelin throwing during the last thrust phases. A 3-D analysis was performed on male and female javelin throwers during the finals of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The subjects were videotaped from the right sight of the throwing area by two NAC high-speed cameras operating at 100 frames per second. Both men’s and women’s grip of javelin and body center of mass displayed a curved pathway to the right from the left (bracing) foot during the final foot contact. The position of the body center of mass decreased at the beginning of the final foot contact, but after the decrease period it began to increase. Simultaneously with the increase, the peak joint center speeds occurred in a proper sequence from proximal to distal segments and finally to the javelin at release. Release speed correlated significantly with throwing distance in both male and females.

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Andrea Eagleman, Lauren M. Burch and Ryan Vooris

Traditional media coverage of the Olympic Games has been shown to exhibit biases in terms of gender, nationality, and the type of sports covered, which can contribute to negative societal consequences and inaccurate historical records of such events. Scholars have suggested that because of the Internet’s expanded spatial parameters, new media have the ability to provide more equitable coverage of events such as the Olympics. In this study, we used agenda setting theory to employ a content analysis methodology to determine whether different constructions of the 2012 London Olympics were presented to media consumers on news websites in Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Kenya, and the United States. Findings indicated that very few gender, nationalistic, or sport biases existed in any of the countries’ coverage, lending credence to the notion that the Internet affords media managers with an opportunity to provide more equitable coverage and thus a more accurate depiction of events.

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James G. Hay and John A. Miller Jr.

The purposes of this study were (a) to describe the techniques used by elite female athletes during the transition from approach to takeoff in the long jump and (b) to determine which characteristics were significantly related to the officially recorded distance of the jump. The subjects were the 12 finalists in the Women's Long Jump at the 1984 Olympic Games. A motion-picture camera placed with its optical axis at right angles to the runway was used to record the performances of the subjects. Means and standard deviations of the variables identified in a theoretical model and correlations between these variables and the distance of the jump were computed. Significant correlations revealed that the less the downward velocity at touchdown at the end of the third-last stride, and the less this velocity is changed by the vertical forces transmitted via the supporting foot, and the shorter the duration of the next flight phase, the greater the distance of the jump.

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John Partington and Terry Orlick

This article provides direct accounts of best-ever consulting experiences as well as lessons about effective consulting given by 19 sportpsych consultants who worked with Canadian athletes in preparation for the 1988 Olympic Games. These consultants attended a workshop funded by Sport Canada, organized and conducted by the authors. Findings are based on the consultants’ written answers to a preworkshop survey. Best-ever experiences were characterized in terms of the openness of athletes and coaches, how the consultation was started, time allowed to work with the athletes, and the fit of the consultant to the situation. Recommendations were also extracted from the content of audiotape recordings and written minutes of workshop discussion groups. These recommendations were directed to the following aspects of consultation: assessing commitment, defining one’s role, beginning the consultation, testing, executing the consultation, team meetings, and consultant characteristics and practices. Implications for selecting and preparing effective consultants are discussed.

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John H. Salmela

Since 1985 the Canadian Gymnastics Federation (CGF) has used a sport psychology consultant to work with elite male gymnasts who were preparing for two World Championships and the Seoul Olympic Games. The present paper outlines the chronology of this relationship, giving specific attention to how the initial contact phase that centered upon group goal-setting was expanded to encompass a range of services that were more personalized. The extension of services to elite age-group gymnasts is also described along with the problems and advantages of dealing with the full spectrum of developmental stages. A detailed recounting of the various initiatives, successes, and setbacks underlines how the long-term intervention process evolves between the coaches, the gymnasts, and the sport psychology consultant. Special emphasis is given to the importance of using “teachable moments” throughout the training and competitive process.

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Maria Newton and Mary D. Fry

The purpose of this study was of examine the motivational perspectives of athletes participating in the Senior Olympic Games. One hundred thirty-seven senior athletes (54 males. 82 females, and 1 nonidentifier) completed measures of goal orientations, beliefs about the causes of success in sport, intrinsic motivation, and views about the purpose of sport. Multivariate analysis revealed a positive association between task orientation and intrinsic motivation, the belief that success in sport is achieved through hard work, and self-improvement-based purposes of sport. In contrast, ego orientation was associated with the belief that success in sport is achieved by those who are gifted with natural ability and who know how to maximize external and deceptive factors. Further, ego orientation was linked to the belief that the purpose of sport was for personal gain. The motivational implications of the present findings are discussed based on the tenets of goal perspective theory.

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John Partington and Terry Orlick

Individual interviews were conducted with 17 Canadian Olympic coaches in order to assess sport psychology consultants and services provided to their athletes and teams in the 4 years leading up to the 1984 Olympic Games. The coaches represented a wide range of sports; all but 2 had worked directly with a sport psychology consultant in preparing their athletes for the Olympics. A total of 21 consultants were reviewed and evaluated. The coaches outlined their personal criteria for assessing the effectiveness of a sport psychology consultant and his or her mental training program. A consensus regarding desired personal consultant characteristics is presented, as well as coaches’ reasons for retaining or terminating the services of a sport psychology consultant.

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Antonio Dal Monte, L.M. Leonardi, C. Menchinelli and C. Marini

Advanced technology and biomechanics were applied in the development of a new bicycle. Factors investigated included the position of the cyclist, geometry of the bicycle, transmission system, and the drag characteristics. Several wind tunnel tests were conducted to determine the minimum drag conditions for bicycle configurations and positions of the athlete. The results showed a clear advantage for nonspoked disc wheels of high composite material without discontinuity between the tire and the wheel. The conventional bicycle frame was redesigned and the optimum body position of the cyclist was determined. These findings were utilized in the development of the bicycle ridden by Francesco Moser in establishing a new 1-hour world record in 1984, and also in aiding the gold-medal-winning 4 × 100 km Italian team in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

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Jane Crossman and Ron Lappage

In-depth telephone interviews were conducted with 48 randomly selected members of the 1980 Canadian Olympic team to determine the impact of the boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games upon their lives and athletic careers. Questions from a 24-item interview schedule focused upon the process by which the athletes were informed, their understanding of the boycott, their reaction to it, the impact on them, and their attitudes and opinions regarding the boycott. The 1980 Olympic boycott generally had a negative impact upon the lives of the athletes interviewed in this study, but the effect depended upon variables such as the sport in which the athlete competed, the stage of his/her career at the time of the boycott, the athlete’s performance expectations, the importance he/she placed upon the Olympics, his/her ability to cope, his/her support structure, and the degree to which the athlete identified with his/her sport. Several recommendations are made regarding future sports boycotts.

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Ruud W. de Boer and Kim L. Nilsen

The 1988 Winter Olympic Games provided a unique opportunity to study large numbers of optimally prepared speed skaters during ideal ice and weather conditions for all the competitors (indoor Olympic Oval in Calgary). In this study a kinematic analysis was conducted of the gliding and push-off technique during the Men’s and Ladies' 1,500-m and 5,000-m races. Statistical analysis showed that factors such as trunk position, preextension knee angle, and peak knee and hip angular velocities failed to correlate with mean lap speed. Within such a homogeneous group of elite athletes it was found that the higher work per stroke of the faster skaters was correlated to a longer gliding phase and a more horizontally directed push-off. All skaters showed plantar flexion at the end of the stroke, which is undesirable and indicates the complex nature of the gliding and push-off technique in speed skating.