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Special Report

Winning in the Olympics

What separates a champion from the rest of the pack? Science has some compelling answers

  • July 24, 2012

Push Comes to Pull: What's the Best Freestyle Swimming Stroke? [Video]

This summer's Olympic games in London feature 14 different freestyle swimming competitions, by far the most races for any type of stroke. The world's elite swimmers can traverse a 50-meter pool in 22 to 26 seconds, yet they are divided over which of two variations of the stroke are more effective: the more powerful "deep catch" approach or the more streamlined "scull." And the physics behind the debate is fascinating.In the deep catch approach, a swimmer puts his or her arm straight forward, then down as deep as possible into the water, and pushes that arm back as hard as possible, keeping the palms perpendicular to the direction the swimmer wants to move.

July 23, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

Many Olympians Suffer from Asthma

The most common chronic condition among all Olympic athletes is asthma. But many don't start suffering symptoms until their later years, suggesting that endurance training could be a trigger. Katherine Harmon reports

August 1, 2012

Time Shift: Is London's Big Ben Falling Down?

Rumors abound about the famous clock tower's imminent demise, blaming the 1999 construction of an underground train station. But those in the know say it ain't so

July 19, 2012 — Wendy M. Grossman

Running barefoot is better, researchers find

Mother Nature has outpaced science once again: the bare human foot is better for running than one cushioned by sneakers. What about those $125 high-tech running shoes with 648 custom combinations?

January 27, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

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