The purposes of this study were to (a) determine the mechanical factors associated with successful performance of the handspring and salto forward vault at the 1988 Olympic Games, and (b) contrast the findings in this study to those from the 1986 USA Championships to gain additional insight for the improvement of performance. The subjects were 51 male gymnasts in the 1988 Olympic Games. Significant correlations indicated that the following were important determinants for successful results: (a) large horizontal velocity (VH) at takeoff (TO) from floor and board resulting from a fast sprint in the approach run; (b) a large change of vertical velocity (Vv) during the horse contact by means of blocking with arms and shoulders; and (c) large VH and Vv at TO from horse, which ensures great distance and height and a long time of postflight, which the judges are seeking. Comparison of the techniques between the two groups revealed that the Olympic gymnasts achieved significantly greater horizontal velocity in preflight, change of vertical velocity while on horse, and vertical velocity at takeoff from horse, which resulted in a significantly longer time of postflight than for the USA gymnasts. An analysis of the aspect of form in postflight, possibly by means of mechanical variables, should be conducted because it may provide additional insight for improvement for performance of this vault.
Yoshiaki Takei and Eay Jin Kim
Fiona Pelly, Helen O’Connor, Gareth Denyer and Ian Caterson
This article describes the development, analysis, and implementation of the menu available to athletes and patrons in the main dining hall of the Athletes Village at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the significant role of sports dietitians in this process. Menu design and development was informed by focus groups, literature reviews, and food-preference surveys of athletes. The final menu was also assessed by an expert panel of Australian sports dietitians. A custom-designed database (Foodweb) was developed to enable dietary analysis of food-production data and creation of point-of-choice nutrition labels. Dietitians assisted with quality assurance testing and training of catering staff. Athletes surveyed in the main dining hall (N = 414) agreed that the menu contained sufficient variety and adequate meat, pasta/rice, vegetable/salad, fruit, and snack items. Sports dietitians played a significant role in ensuring that the menu met the needs of athletes from a range of differing cultural and sporting backgrounds. Dining-hall patrons provided positive feedback and few complaints about the overall dining experience. The information presented in this report can help future caterers and dietitians with the planning and provision of suitable food for athletic performance at an Olympic Games.
Jongkyu Kim, Seung-ki Kang, Han-sang Jung, Yoon-suck Chun, Jennifer Trilk and Seung Ho Jung
Athletes report frequent use of various dietary supplements (DSs). However, no study has examined DS use and antidoping knowledge in Korean Olympians. The objectives of this study were to obtain information about Korean Olympians’ DS use during the training period for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games and immediately before their Olympic events, to obtain DS-intake reasons and DS providers, and to obtain information on athletes’ doping education, knowledge, and educators. Korean Olympians completed 2 questionnaires 1 wk before the opening and within 1 wk after the closing of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Results showed that 79% of male and 82% of female Olympians take more than 1 DS during the training period and that vitamins and Oriental supplements are the 2 top-ranked DSs. Reasons for DS use were to improve recovery ability (66%) and muscle performance (22%), and sources of obtaining DSs were parents (36%) and coaches (35%). Furthermore, 79% of Korean Olympians reported receiving regular education on antidoping regulations from Olympic-sponsored education classes (64%) and coaches (15%). In conclusion, this study was the first to examine DS use and antidoping-related information in Korean Olympians. Because some herbal products contain substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, athletes should be cautious in using mixed Oriental supplements.
Chengli Tien, Huai-Chun Lo and Hsiou-Wei Lin
This study concerns research related to mega events, such as the Olympic Games, to determine whether the economic impact of the Olympic Games on the host countries is significant. This study uses two methods, panel data analysis and event study, to test hypotheses based on the data from 15 countries that have hosted 24 summer and winter Olympic Games. The results indicate that the economic impact of the Olympic Games on the host countries is only significant in terms of certain parameters (i.e., gross domestic product performance and unemployment) in the short term. These findings provide decision makers with comprehensive and multidimensional knowledge about the economic impact of hosting a mega event and about whether their objectives can be realized as expected.
Jane M. Cappaert, David L. Pease and John P. Troup
Twelve male 100-m freestyle swimmers were videotaped during the 1992 Olympic Games. Four cameras, two above water and two below, recorded the same stroke cycle of the swimmer at approximately the 40- to 45-m mark. The whole body and the recovering arms were digitized from the videotapes to recreate a complete stroke cycle. Body position variables and hand reaction forces (Schleihauf, 1979) were calculated. Swimmers were divided into elite and subelite groups based on their swimming velocity and were compared for differences in biomechanical variables. Elites used slightly lower hand forces while maintaining a higher propelling efficiency. Subelites had opposite rotations about the longitudinal axis of the body rather than symmetrical body roll. The elite swimmers were different from subelites in that their pulling patterns were more efficient and their body position was more streamlined. These variables assisted them in achieving faster swimming velocities without requiring higher propulsive forces.
Chris Chard, Cheryl Mallen and Cheri L. Bradish
In 2008, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) announced that they had signed a $58 million (US) sponsorship agreement with British Petroleum (BP), an oil company with well-known environmental concerns and offenses. The current case is set in July 2010 amidst BP’s most recent, and largest, environmental incident. The purpose of this case is to answer a key question: What action (if any) should LOCOG take with respect to its partnership with BP given the Gulf Coast oil spill? Additionally, students are challenged to form opinions regarding the environmental and social responsibilities of an Olympic sponsor, and to develop a strategic plan and policies for Olympic partners related to their environmental and social actions in the future.
This article shares personal perspectives and experiences that emerged as a result of 15 years of consulting with athletes representing numerous sports at both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The importance of listening closely to athletes, respecting their input, and meeting their individual needs is emphasized. Consultants are cautioned against using batteries of standardized personality assessment inventories as these infringe upon the athletes’ time without providing practical information. Effectiveness in this field requires firsthand experience with sport, a full understanding of the psychology of excellence, and a willingness to learn directly from the athletes themselves. One-on-one contact, adaptability to individual needs, good interpersonal skills, applied sportpsych knowledge, and persistence in application are also important. It is recommended that registration of consultants in the field of applied sport psychology be contingent upon direct evaluation by athletes.
Philip K. Porter and Deborah Fletcher
This article uses data from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to test the predictions of regional input-output models. Real changes associated with these events are insignificant. Nominal measures of demand overstate demand increases and factor price increases absorb the impact of real increases in demand. Nominal changes appear to be limited to hotel prices. Input-output models of a regional economy are often used to predict the impact of short-duration sporting events. Because I-O models assume constant factor prices and technical coefficients between sectors are calibrated from long-run steady-state relations in the regional economy, the predictions greatly overstate the true impact. Because the predictions of these models are increasingly used to justify public subsidies, understanding these deficiencies is crucial.
Despite the fact that Olympic sailing is a psychologically demanding sport, few countries use the services of sport psychologists to mentally prepare their athletes for the rigors of international competition. At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games only Canada and France had sport psychologists working on site with the athletes during the Games. This article describes the educational, mental skills approach used to prepare the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team as well as the athlete and coach mental preparation programs. Components of the team’s Olympic Preparation Plan are outlined and the use of thorough planning and preparation to bolster the athletes’ feelings of readiness and confidence is discussed. The importance of providing athletes with a distraction-free environment during the Games is also discussed, along with a plan for accommodating the needs of their family members and the media.
The triumphal track and field performances of British distance runner, Mo Farah, at the London 2012 Olympic Games were lauded both for their athletic endeavor and for their perceived validation of the rhetoric of ethnic and cultural diversity and inclusion in which the Games were ensconced. By analyzing coverage of the athlete’s achievements in mainstream British newspapers, this article presents a more complicated and critical reading of the relationship between Britishness, multiculture, the politics of inclusion and the London Games. Employing a Critical Discourse Analysis approach, the article shows that Farah was constructed and represented by the media using narratives that are familiar, palatable and reassuring to the public; and that sustain hegemonic models of racialised nationhood and dominant ideologies around sport.