Science at the Olympics: Do New Materials Make the Athlete?

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  • Author(s): Lu, Andrea
  • Source:
    Science. 8/1/2008, Vol. 321 Issue 5889, p626-626. 1/2p. 1 Color Photograph.
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      The article discusses the significance of the Vectran, a superstrong liquid crystals found at the clothing and Nike shoes, worn by athletes during the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China. These materials are advantageous to athletes because it can withstand high temperatures. According to Nike, the shoes are lighter, stiffer to reduce friction and clothes that reduce drag by 7%. Russ Tucker of the University of Cape Town said that runners need to contract muscles precisely at the proper angle, velocity and time and tight-fitting garments will help the brain identify where in space the limbed is poised so they know when to activate the muscle.