Museum of Science and Industry

With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games soon coming to a close in London, science and tech-minded sports fans around the world are wondering what new innovations could become part of competition by the time the 2020 Olympics arrive.

Recently Popular Science pondered new technologies that could make the Olympic Games safer and fairer for the competitors, and even more exciting for the fans. Holographic obstacles and retractable diving boards could have the potential to lessen common injuries while still giving spectators a chance to see their favorite athletes in action. Perhaps coolest of all, new goggles for swimmers could keep them updated on their standings during the race so they can better pace themselves!

We may even see clones at the 2020 Olympics; not human ones, but horses! In July, the leading governing body for competitive horses and their owners decided to lift a ban on cloning, and many believe the Olympics will follow suit. If clones are allowed to compete, you may see former champions’ clones in the arena (Secretariat, Jr.?), but many experts believe it’s training, not genetics, that makes a champion.

While it’s exciting to think of all the new technologies that will be in future Olympics, science is present even now in every aspect of the games. Check out NBC’s video series on the “Science of the Summer Olympics” to learn how your favorite athletes use physics, biomechanics, and engineering to win medals!

  • Readers' Comments (1)
August 14, 2012

Holographic obstacles and retractable diving boards? That would remove one of the crucial challenges these athletes face-fear. A big part of what makes these sports thrilling is the fact that the participants have conquered their fear to do it. It is nice to think thst fewer people and horses will be hurt, but it really does change everything.

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