Olympics and technology – economy

And of course, when Elaine Thompson-Herah crosses the finish line at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, you have to think of that unforgettable commercial from director Spike Lee with basketball legend Michael Jordan and this line: “Is it the shoes? ” So: is it because of these shoes that Jordan renounces the rules of gravity? Jamaican Thompson-Herah clocked exactly 10.61 seconds in the 100 meters, breaking the Olympic record of American Florence Griffith-Joyner, set in Seoul in 1988, by one hundredth of a second, and it is no accident if she wore a mannequin. from the outfitter, the Already asked Jordan if the shoes could have anything to do with otherworldly accomplishments. The Mondo d’Alba company, in Italy, could also ask itself: is it the hexagon? Since 1976 in Montreal, Mondo has been responsible for career paths at the Olympic Games.

Sport and technology form an interesting symbiosis at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, by the way, for spectators and athletes, and nowhere is this more visible than on the athletics track of the Olympic Stadium – the finals of the 400 meters Thursday (men) and Friday (women) are the next record contenders. This Olympic stadium track is constructed in such a way that it promotes top marks and maybe even provokes it. “Phew, that thing is fast. Very fast,” said American Clayton Murphy before running the 800-meter final: “You might only be able to win with a world record.”

Mondo is proud to have now set more than 280 world running records; and it seems that a new detail is added to each event. In 2008 in Beijing the places were still used, four years later in London it was diamonds. When walking forward, people do not run forward, but always slightly to the side – with their left foot they push each other slightly to the right and vice versa. Mondo has now developed elongated octagons to better respond to sprinters’ pressure points and their direction of travel. Vulcanized rubber on the surface is said to optimize grip, small air cushions underneath absorb pressure when the feet are put on and work like mini trampolines.

The track was installed in the fall of 2019 in order to be able to adapt to the humid heat of Tokyo for a few months; the postponement of matches because of the Covid pandemic did not hurt him, on the contrary, it is said. The surface can be distorted in three dimensions, to put it simply: it pushes the sprinters a bit in the direction in which they want to run as fast as possible – for example in turns, they run counterclockwise. , towards the left.

By the way, the stadium in Tokyo is built in such a way that the wind is either stopped from the roof or channeled in such a way that there are perfect conditions for records that conform to the rules – by the way, it is was also the case in London in 2012. So there’s a lot of science and DIY going on in sports cities and in athletic gear – and that brings us back to the Thompson-Herah shoes.

Open detailed view

Elaine Thompson-Herah after the 200-meter race on Monday.

(Photo: Petr David Josek / AP)

A foam has been incorporated into the sole, which is supposed to restore energy to the foot when putting it on and work like a mini spring. So, when the public admires the great achievements of athletes, they should always remember: is it the shoes or the octagons?

By the way, the three best technical details of these games for viewers are: pulse display for archers, referee’s camera perspective for hockey training moments, and 3D analysis in athletics. , in which technology companies Intel and Alibaba have teamed up and show how, for example, the speed of the 400-meter race changes and when top speed is reached.

By the way, athletes don’t like to hear someone claim that something other than themselves could be to blame for medals and top performances. Thompson-Herah, for example, said after his world record run: “Shoes and tracks don’t matter. What matters: my training.”

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