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Horst Behncke

The influence of altitude, wind, and track curvature is studied on the basis of a simple biomechanical model. The results are compared with some data from the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Munich, and Mexico City. The influence of these factors is found to be considerably larger than the current precision in the measurement of records.

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Margaret Dupee, Tanya Forneris and Penny Werthner

The purpose of this study was to explore the perceived outcomes of a biofeedback and neurofeedback training intervention with high performance athletes. Five Olympic level athletes preparing for world championships and the 2012 Olympic Games took part in a 20 session intervention over the period of one year. At the completion of the intervention, a semistructured interview was conducted with each athlete. The athletes indicated that they became more self-aware, were better able to self-regulate both their physiological and psychological states, developed a greater sense of personal control, and a greater understanding of skills inherent in the field of sport psychology. Three of the athletes made the Canadian Olympic team for the 2012 Olympic Games and two of those athletes won bronze medals. The present study suggests that biofeedback and neurofeedback training may be useful in enabling athletes to perform optimally, in both training and competition, on a consistent basis.

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Marla K. Beauchamp, Richard H. Harvey and Pierre H. Beauchamp

The present article outlines the development and implementation of a multifaceted psychological skills training program for the Canadian National Short Track Speedskating team over a 3-year period leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. A program approach was used emphasizing a seven-phase model in an effort to enhance sport performance (Thomas, 1990) in which psychological skills training was integrated with biofeedback training to optimize self-regulation for performance on demand and under pressure. The biofeedback training protocols were adapted from general guidelines described by Wilson, Peper, and Moss (2006) who built on the work of DeMichelis (2007) and the “Mind Room” program approach for enhancing athletic performance. The goal of the program was to prepare the athletes for their best performance under the pressure of the Olympic Games. While causation cannot be implied due to the lack of a control group, the team demonstrated success on both team and individual levels.

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Anahit Armenakyan, Norm O’Reilly, Louise Heslop, John Nadeau and Irene R. R. Lu

The hosting of a mega–sport event (MSE) has a number of implications for a host country, some positive and some negative. This research explores the influence of the on-field performance of the host country’s national team (NT), in this case for the Olympic Games, on the decision to bid for and potentially host such an MSE. Previous studies have normally focused on residents and international tourists who attend the event, thereby not considering the views of (i) nonresident communities of the host country and (ii) international and domestic spectators. This research responds by investigating the impact of individual associations with the (Olympic) NT through examining the expectations for and perceived performance of the NT on behavioral attitudes of domestic (Canadian) and foreign (American) residents toward the NT itself, the MSE, and the host country, around the 2010 Winter Vancouver Olympic Games.

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Jan Bourgois, Adelheid Steyaert and Jan Boone

Purpose:

In this case study, a world-class rower was followed over a period of 15 y in which he evolved from junior to professional athlete.

Methods:

An incremental exercise test and a 2000-m ergometer test were performed each year in the peak period of the season starting at the age of 16 y. In addition, the training logs of 1 y each as a junior and a senior rower were recorded and analyzed.

Results:

Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), maximal power output (Pmax), and power output at 4 mmol/L blood lactate concentration increased until the age of 27 and then stabilized at 30 y at 6.0 ± 0.2 L/min, 536 ± 15 W, and 404 ± 22 W, respectively. At the age of 27–28 y the rower also had a career-best 2000-m ergometer test (5′58″) and on-water performance with a 4th place at the Olympic Games (2008) in Beijing and World Championships (2009). At the age of 23 y, the rower trained a total of 6091 km in 48 wk. Of the total training time, 15.4% consisted of general training practices, 23.4% resistance training, and 61.2% specific rowing training.

Conclusion:

The on-water performance in the World Championships and Olympic Games corresponded closely to the evolution in the rower’s physiological profile and 2000-m ergometer performance. The long-term build-up program resulted in an increase in the physiological parameters up to the age of 27 y and resulted in a 4th position at the 2008 Olympic Games at a body mass of only 86 kg.

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Harry Edwards

In 1968 I organized the Olympic Project for Human Rights. Its purpose was to carry out a black athletes’ boycott of the Mexico City Olympic Games in protest against racism in American sports in particular and American society in general. Those of us associated with OPHR were viciously attacked in the U.S. media for introducing politics into the Olympics. My response to these attacks was simple: “The Olympics are and have always been political!” My position on this issue has not changed, but now I am far from alone in my view.

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Margaret Carlisle Duncan and Barry Brummett

Although scholars have increasingly turned their attention to sport spectatorship, few have examined the particular appeals of television sports spectatorship. This study explains the pleasures of televised sports viewing by building on the work of media theorists. In particular, it argues that three types of specular pleasure (fetishism, voyeurism, narcissism) are found in televised sports. Further, it identifies discursive, technological, and social dimensions of televised sport spectating as the sources of those visual pleasures. The voyeurism, fetishism, and narcissism of televised sport are illustrated with examples drawn from videotapes of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

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Jos J. de Koning

The quality of performance during international competitions such as the Olympic Games and various world championships is often judged by the number of world records attained. The simple fact that world records continue to improve is evidence that sports performance is progressing. Does this also mean that athletes are improving? Is the continual progression of world-record performances evidence that contemporary athletes are superior to the athletes who performed in the past? Technological developments may obscure insight into the athletic enhancement made by athletes over the years. This commentary tries to separate technological and athletic enhancement in the progression of world records by the use of a power balance model.

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Ik Young Chang, Jane Crossman, Jane Taylor and Diane Walker

This study compared and explored the textual coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (OG) and Paralympic Games (PG) by the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. The authors found 8 high-order themes and 25 low-order themes for the OG. The high-order themes were predicting game results, reporting game results, athleticism, politics, ethical issues, nationalism, the media, and the economy. For the PG, there were 4 high-order themes, and each high-order theme had 1 low-order theme. The high-order themes were reporting game results, athleticism, ethical issues, and equality between Paralympians and Olympians. Comparisons between OG and PG coverage are discussed and recommendations for future research provided.

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Clifford J. Mallett

The coach is central to the development of expertise in sport (Bloom, 1985) and is subsequently key to facilitating adaptive forms of motivation to enhance the quality of sport performance (Mallett & Hanrahan, 2004). In designing optimal training environments that are sensitive to the underlying motives of athletes, the coach requires an in-depth understanding of motivation. This paper reports on the application of self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2000) to coaching elite athletes. Specifically, the application of SDT to designing an autonomy-supportive motivational climate is outlined, which was used in preparing Australia’s two men’s relay teams for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.