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Wayne Halliwell

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.

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Raul Arellano, Peter Brown, Jane Cappaert and Richard C. Nelson

The performances of 335 male and female swimmers competing in 50-, 100-, and 200-m freestyle events at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games were videotaped and analyzed to determine stroke length (SL), stroke rate (SR), starting time (ST), turning times (TI = turn in, TO = turn out), finishing (end) time (ET), and average velocity (AV); relationships were then determined among these variables in addition to height, weight, age, and final time (FT). Differences were subsequently assessed within and among the events, and comparisons were made between male and female performances. ST, TI, TO, ET, and SL were identified as principal components of successful swimming performance at each distance. Results revealed statistically significant correlations between factors for all events. The men were older and taller; possessed longer stroke lengths; and started, turned, and swam faster than the women. As the race distance increased from 50 to 200 m, ST, TI, TO, SL, and ET increased for both men and women, while age, SR, and AV decreased.

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Yoshiaki Takei, Erik P. Blucker, J. Hubert Dunn, Scott A. Myers and Virginia L. Fortney

The 20 highest scored handspring with full-turn vaults performed during the 1992 Olympic Games were compared with those receiving the 20 lowest scores. Hypotheses were that the vaults receiving high scores would (a) demonstrate larger horizontal velocity at takeoff from the board and larger vertical velocity at takeoff from the horse and (b) demonstrate greater amplitude of postflight, higher center of gravity (CG) at the completion of the full twist, and superior landing performance than those receiving low scores. Two 16-mm Locam II DC cameras, each operating at a nominal frame rate of 100 Hz, recorded the vaults. It was concluded that the vaults receiving high scores demonstrated (a) larger horizontal velocity and translational kinetic energy at takeoff from the board, larger vertical velocity and translational kinetic energy at takeoff from the horse, and greater amplitude of postflight; (b) greater heights of CG from the beginning of the second-quarter twist to halfway through the third-quarter twist; and (c) superior landing performance than those receiving low scores.

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Karen H. Weiller, Catriona T. Higgs and Scott B. Martin

Sports are omnipresent in American society; available for viewing 24 hours a day and can constitute much of everyday life and conversation. Researchers have indicated that men and women relate to sport differently (Gantz & Wenner, 1991). Evidence shows males outnumber females in sport viewership, and in the past much of the sport programming to which we are exposed caters specifically to men. The purpose of the present study was to explore issues related to audience perception of the 1996 Olympic Games. Participants (125 males and 92 females) ranging from 18 to 40 years of age were administered a gender specific version of the Audience Perception Questionnaires (APQ) following viewing video segments of men’s and women’s competitions (i.e., basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and volleyball). The two versions of the APQ were developed from current literature, and by employing a delphi technique to validate the APQ. Factor analyses resulted in four underlying media perception dimensions: Commentary Coverage, Gender Marking and Stereotyping, Hierarchy of Naming, and Verbal Descriptors. Results revealed perceptions of male and female athletes by the public are influenced to a great degree by gender.

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Andrew Renfree, Graham J. Mytton, Sabrina Skorski and Alan St Clair Gibson

Purpose:

To identify tactical factors associated with progression from preliminary rounds in middle-distance running events at an international championship.

Methods:

Results from the 2012 Olympic Games were used to access final and intermediate positions, finishing times, and season-best (SB) times for competitors in men’s and women’s 800-m and 1500-m events (fifteen 800-m races and ten 1500-m races). Finishing times were calculated as %SB, and Pearson product–moment correlations were used to assess relationships between intermediate and finishing positions. Probability (P) of qualification to the next round was calculated for athletes in each available intermediate position.

Results:

There were no significant differences in finishing times relative to SB between qualifiers and nonqualifiers. In the 800-m, correlation coefficients between intermediate and final positions were r = .61 and r = .84 at 400 m and 600 m, respectively, whereas in the 1500-m, correlations were r = .35, r = .43, r = .55, and r = .71 at 400 m, 800 m, 1000 m, and 1200 m, respectively. In both events, probability of qualification decreased with position at all intermediate distances. At all points, those already in qualifying positions were more likely to qualify for the next round.

Conclusions:

The data demonstrate that tactical positioning at intermediate points in qualifying rounds of middle-distance races is a strong determinant of qualification. In 800-m races it is important to be in a qualifying position by 400 m. In the 1500-m event, although more changes in position are apparent, position at intermediate distances is still strongly related to successful qualification.

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Stephen R. McDaniel

This study uses a two-stage telephone survey method, involving a stratified random sample (n = 248) of American adults (18+), to examine the implications of audience demographics, personal values, lifestyle, and interests to sport marketing and media, in the context of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Three hypotheses were tested using stepwise multiple regression and independent group t-test analyses and all received at least partial support. Male respondents' levels of interest in the Olympic Games were significantly related to their patriotic values and lifestyle. Those most interested in this event reported significantly higher levels of patriotism and religiosity than those less interested; likewise, the high event interest group reported enjoying advertising at a significantly greater level than their low event interest counterparts. Demographics, lifestyle, and event interest levels significantly influenced total amount of exposure to the event telecast.

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Ralph Beneke

) in 1924. 1 With 258 athletes from 16 nations competing in 9 sports with 16 events, it was a big success. Consequently, in 1925 the IOC decided to have separate Winter Olympic Games each Olympic year and renamed the Chamonix International Winter Sport Week the first Winter Olympics. On February 9

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Margaret Carlisle Duncan

This paper develops a theoretical framework for understanding how and what sports photographs mean. In particular, it identifies two categories of photographic features as conveyors of meanings. The first category is the content or discourse within the photograph, which includes physical appearances, poses and body positions, facial expressions, emotional displays, and camera angles. The second category is the context, which contributes to the discursive text of the photograph. The context includes the visual space in which the photograph appears, its caption, the surrounding written text, and the title and the substantive nature of the article in which the photograph appears. Using 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games photographs appearing in popular North American magazines, I show how these various features of photographs may enable patriarchal readings that emphasize sexual difference.

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John Vincent and Jane Crossman

This study compared how The Globe and Mail and The New York Times covered the Canadian and U.S. women’s and men’s ice hockey teams competing in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A content-analysis methodology compared the amount and prominence of coverage devoted to the women’s and men’s teams. Each newspaper provided more coverage of the men’s teams and to its own national teams, particularly in prominent locations. Textual analysis was used to analyze how the gendered themes intersected with national identity in the narratives. Theoretical insight was drawn from Connell’s theory of gender–power relations, Anderson’s concept of the imagined community, and Hobsbawm’s theory of invented traditions. Four themes emerged: the future of hockey at the Winter Olympic Games, postgame celebrations, gendered discourses, and the importance of the gold-medal games. A discussion of each theme is presented.

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Nicolas Delorme and Amy Pressland

The media coverage of sport events in relation to athletes’ sex has been extensively analyzed in the scientific literature. Apart from sports mega-events such as the Olympic Games, the findings of these studies seem consistent in that female participants are systematically underrepresented in sports media coverage. However, much of the research in this area relates to North America. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine sex equity in the coverage of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by French, British and Spanish newspapers to provide new insights in this research field from a different cultural perspective. A content analysis was carried out and mixed results were found. French coverage shows significant discrimination of female athletes on most of the variables analyzed. Conversely, British coverage shows significant discrimination of male athletes on most of the variables studied. Finally, Spanish coverage is fair. These mixed results show the value of conducting such studies in geographical areas outside North America.