Winter Olympics (Ice and Physics) Mania

American bobsledders in 2002 Olympics, Photo by Petty Officer 1st class Preston Keres, USN, American Forces Press Service News Articles

From a science perspective, the great frozen stuff is the unsung hero in all these sports. Its slick surface (and low friction) allow skates, skis, snowboards, sleds, and curling stones to slide smoothly, with a lot of help from some talented athletes, who have trained for years. Of course, it also creates all kinds of problems under suboptimal conditions: bad surfacing thwarted speed skaters yesterday. And warm weather made skiing a slushy mess.

I’ve also collected a few links related to Olympic science:

P.S. As I’m glued to my television and pondering ice and physics, I’m also thinking of the family of Nodar Kumaritashvili. A horrible crash and a tragic loss.

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