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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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Jos J. de Koning, Gert de Groot and Gerrit Jan van Ingen Schenau

Mechanical characteristics of the sprint start in speed skating were measured during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. From three-dimensional film analysis of the first 4 seconds of the male and female 500-m races, biomechanical variables were determined. The first strokes during the start appeared to be performed by a running-like technique. At a forward velocity of approximately 4 m/sec, the skaters are forced to change this technique to the typical gliding technique as used during speed skating at steady speed. In explaining the time differences on the first 100 meters of the 500-m speed skating race, the effectiveness of the push-off appears to be more important than the observed high power output levels.

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Maurice R. Yeadon, Sung-Cheol Lee and David G. Kerwin

At the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, eight full twisting somersault dismounts from the high bar were filmed using two cameras during the compulsory exercises of the Men’s High Bar competition. Angles describing body configuration and orientation were determined and were input into a computer simulation model of aerial movement. The deviations between simulation and film were less than 2.5° for tilt angles and less than 0.07 revolutions for twist angles. The twisting techniques employed were quantified using the tilt angle as a measure of twisting potential. Contributions to the maximum tilt angle were determined using simulations based on modifications of the film data. Each of the eight competitors obtained most of the tilt using aerial rather than contact techniques. In general, the majority of the aerial contributions arose from asymmetrical arm and hip movements.

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Yoshiaki Takei

This study compared the techniques used by elite male gymnasts in performing blocking or pushoff against the horse and postflight in the handspring and salto forward tucked vault. Forty-one American gymnasts were compared with 51 Olympic gymnasts on the mechanical factors governing the blocking and body control for salto forward and kickout in postflight. A 16-mm high-speed camera recorded the performance of the gymnasts during the 1986 USA Gymnastics Championships and the 1988 Olympic Games. The results indicated that Olympic gymnasts assumed the tightest tuck position significantly nearer the peak of the parabolic path of CG and thus achieved significantly greater height of CG at the tightest tuck position during the somersault than did the U.S. gymnasts. The superiority of body control by the former after the tightest tuck to landing was evidenced by significantly longer time, larger horizontal and angular distances, greater average moment of inertia, and smaller angular velocity.

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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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Dennis Dreiskaemper, Bernd Strauss, Norbert Hagemann and Dirk Büsch

Hill and Barton (2005) showed that fighters in tae kwon do, boxing, and wrestling who wore red jerseys during the 2004 Olympic Games won more often than those wearing blue jerseys. Regarding these results, this study investigated the effects of jersey color during a combat situation on fighters’ physical parameters of strength and heart rate. An artificial, experimental combat situation was created in which the color of sport attire was assigned randomly. Fourteen pairs of male athletes matched for weight, height, and age had to fight each other: once in a red jersey and once in a blue. Heart rate (before, during, and after the fight) and strength (before the fight) were tested wearing the blue and the red jerseys. Participants wearing red jerseys had significantly higher heart rates and significantly higher pre-contest values on the strength test. Results showed that participants’ body functions are influenced by wearing red equipment.

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Federico Pizzuto, Matteo Bonato, Gialunca Vernillo, Antonio La Torre and Maria Francesca Piacentini

Purpose:

To analyze how many finalists of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships (WJCs) in the middle- and long-distance track events had dropped out from high-level competitions.

Methods:

Starting from 2002, the 8 male and the 8 female finalists in the middle- and long-distance events of 6 editions of the WJC were followed until 2015 to evaluate how many missed the IAAF rankings for 2 consecutive years starting from the year after WJC participation. For those still competing at elite level, their careers were monitored.

Results:

In 2015, 61% of the 2002, 54.8% of the 2004, 48.3% of the 2006, 37.5% of the 2008, 26.2% of the 2010, and 29% of the 2012 WJC finalists were not present in the IAAF rankings. Of the 368 athletes considered, 75 (20.4%) were able to achieve the IAAF top 10 in 2.4 ± 2.2 y. There is evidence of relationships between dropout and gender (P = .040), WJC edition (P = .000), and nationality (P = .010) and between the possibility to achieve the IAAF top 10 and dropout (P = .000), continent (P = .001), relative age effect (P = .000), and quartile of birth (P = .050).

Conclusions:

Even if 23 of the finalists won a medal at the Olympic Games or at the World Championships, it is still not clear if participation at the WJC is a prerequisite to success at a senior level.

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Philip Davis, Peter R. Benson, Robert Waldock and Andrew J. Connorton

Female boxing debuted at the 2012 London Olympic Games. To better understand the performance aspects of the sport, video footage of eighteen 4 × 2-min bouts were analyzed. The boxers involved in the competition were of an elite level (mean ± SD), age 26.4 ± 4.6 y, height 169.3 ± 6.2 cm, and weight 60.3 ± 10.0 kg. Analysis revealed an activity rate of ~1.6 actions/s, including ~16 punches, ~3.3 defensive movements, and ~63 vertical hip movements, all per minute, over the 4 × ~132-s rounds (R). A 2 × 4 (outcome × round) ANOVA with repeated measures over the rounds was used to analyze the data. Winners maintained a higher activity rate in round 1 (R1) and R2; a higher movement rate in R2, R3, and R4; and an increased punch accuracy including the ratio of total punches to punches landed in R3 and air punches as a percentage of punches missed in R1 and R3. Specific techniques that discriminate between successful and unsuccessful female amateur boxers include the straight rear-hand and body punches, higher for winners in R1, as well as uppercut punches and defensive foot movements, higher for winners in R4. Findings highlight the current demands of elite amateur female boxing. These data will be useful for those designing training programs and may also be useful for guiding sport-specific fitness testing.

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Patrick Kennedy, Peter Brown, Somadeepti N. Chengalur and Richard C. Nelson

The performance of male and female swimmers (N = 397) competing in the preliminary heats of the four 100-meter swimming events during the Seoul Olympic Games was videotaped and later analyzed to determine stroke rate (SR) and stroke length (SL). These data were combined with age, height, and final time (FT) values for statistical analyses which included the relationships among these variables, comparison of male and female performance, and assessment of differences in the four events. The results revealed the following ranges of correlations between SR and SL (rs from −0.65 to −0.90), SL and FT (rs from −0.32 to −0.80), height and SL (0.19 to 0.58), and age and FT (-0.16 to −.051). The factor of SL was identified as the dominant feature of successful swimming performance. The men were older and taller, had longer stroke lengths and higher stroke rates (two of four events), and swam faster than the women. The differences in final times across the four events (freestyle fastest, breaststroke slowest) were due to specific combinations of SR and SL, with neither parameter being consistently dominant.

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Edward J. Smith, Ryan Storey and Mayur K. Ranchordas

Bouldering competitions are held up to International level and governed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing. Bouldering has been selected to feature at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, however, physiological qualities and nutritional requirements to optimize performance remain inadequately defined due to large gaps in the literature. The primary goals of training include optimizing the capacity of the anaerobic energy systems and developing sport-specific strength, with emphasis on the isometric function of the forearm flexors responsible for grip. Bouldering athletes typically possess a lean physique, similar to the characteristics of sport climbers with reported body fat values of 6–12%. Athletes strive for a low body weight to improve power to weight ratio and limit the load on the extremities. Specialized nutritional support is uncommon and poor nutritional practices such as chronic carbohydrate restriction are prevalent, compromising the health of the athletes. The high intensity nature of bouldering demands a focus on adequate carbohydrate availability. Protein intake and timing should be structured to maximize muscle protein synthesis and recovery, with the literature suggesting 0.25–0.3 g/kg in 3–4 hr intervals. Supplementing with creatine and b-alanine may provide some benefit by augmenting the capacity of the anaerobic systems. Boulderers are encouraged to seek advice from nutrition experts to enhance performance, particularly important when weight loss is the desired outcome. Further research is warranted across all nutritional aspects of bouldering which is summarized in this review.