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This Rube Goldberg Basketball Machine Has Enough Tricks to Be a Harlem Globetrotter

It seems not even basketball court jester is a job that’s safe from from the rise of the machines. Students from Georgia Tech University in the US built a giant Rube Goldberg contraption that’s capable of reproducing many of the Harlem Globetrotters’ most crowd-pleasing tricks; from spinning a ball on a finger, to simply sinking baskets. Read More >>

Olympics 2018
The Difference Between Power and Endurance Athletes Is in Their Blood

The shelves of drug-testing laboratories in dozens of countries are stocked with biological samples from the best athletes in the world, who deliver blood and urine for investigators to test for banned performance-enhancing substances. They’re are a veritable gold mine for scientists looking to figure out what, exactly, makes an athlete at the highest level tick. Read More >>

dna testing
The Search for the Olympian Gene

In 2014, the former Soviet nation of Uzbekistan announced a plan that it hoped would give it a leg up in future Olympic games: It would DNA test Uzbek children to determine their athletic potential. Read More >>

giz asks
Do Animals Have a Sense of Competition?

Humans do the wildest things to animals—stick them with experimental drugs, mash them into cheap nuggets, mount their severed heads on dining room walls. Against this backdrop of chaos and mass extermination the Puppy Bowl seems fairly benign, as do all those other events, like the Kentucky Derby, where animals are forced to play sports for our amusement. We know that humans like these games, especially when their bets pay off; but how do the animals feel? What’s, say, on a horse’s mind, when it finishes first in a race? Can an animal have some sense that it’s won something, or, for that matter, lost? Read More >>

winter olympics
Why the Winter Olympics Has Less Doping Than the Summer Olympics

Russia was banned from competing in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a sweeping punishment for its brazen state-sponsored doping programme, exposed in 2016. But even with the added scrutiny of athletes in 2018, the percentage of athletes using banned substances in Pyeongchang is probably lower than it was in Rio in 2016, and than it will be in Tokyo in 2020. Doping—throughout the history of the Olympics—tends to happens more in the Summer Games than in the Winter Games. Read More >>

security
IT Firm Supporting Pyeongchang Olympics Reportedly Hacked Months Ago

The IT company supporting the Winter Olympics apparently never had a chance. According to CyberScoop, it was hacked well before the Pyeongchang games ever began. Read More >>

sports
I Went Curling and Not Even Physics Could Save Me

Before I went curling last month with my partner’s family at the Grand Forks Curling Club in North Dakota, I figured that getting the basics down would be simple enough. Push a heavy rock hard enough to get it to the other side of the ice, and that’s it, right? Wrong. I was in for a much more complicated physics lesson than I expected. Here are the basics of gravity and friction, for example: Read More >>

giz asks
How Do Winter Olympians Stay Warm?

Nearly three thousand athletes have made their way to the Winter Olympics this month, and probably at least a couple are cursing the day they ever decided to become world-class bobsledders: Reports out of Pyeongchang list the temperature at or around a murderous subzero, putting this year’s games on track to be the coldest since 1994—with matters not much helped by the fact that, in their haste to get a stadium in shape, South Korea’s builders neglected to include a roof. Read More >>

sports
This Is What It Feels Like to Rocket Downhill at 90 MPH During Olympic Skeleton Racing

Remember the feelings of thrill and terror when you launched your sled down a steep snow-covered hill? American Skeleton racer John Daly has been doing that competitively for 15 years, but his sled, which slides down an ice-covered bobsled using a pair of metal runners, can actually hit speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. Read More >>

sports
The 2018 Winter Olympics Is Now Hosting a Norovirus Outbreak

The stomach flu has touched ground on the 2018 Winter Olympics, which begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday, and officials are pulling out the stops to keep it from derailing the games. Read More >>

sports
The Surprisingly High-Tech Super Bowl I Broadcast

When footage of CBS’s 1967 coverage of Super Bowl I first emerged from the ashes seven years ago, sports historians reacted with glee. Long considered one of the Holy Grails of sportscasting history, the footage, found on a set of two-inch Quadruplex video tapes in a dusty Pennsylvania attic, provided a rare glimpse at an event once held exclusively in the memories of the nearly 62,000 attendees that January afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Read More >>

sports
Eurosport Will be Broadcasting 50 Hours of Winter Olympics Footage in VR

People only really care about the Winter Olympics when Cool Runnings is on, or if the host being accused of corruption and human rights abuses. Maybe because snow-based sports aren't that exciting and non-Canadian people don't have as much interest in them. Read More >>

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Mellow-Out Your Day With this Snowboarder’s Peaceful Ride Down a Mountain

The vast majority of snowboarding videos are packed with high-speed slalom runs, over-the-top jumps, and stunts intended to show off a rider’s extreme skills. But watching this video of Alex Pashley gently plowing through fresh powder as he weaves through trees might be the most relaxing thing you’ll watch this week. Read More >>

virtual reality
US Olympians Are Using VR Headsets to Train for Pyeongchang

In her book The Imagineers of War, author Sharon Weinberger recounts one of the first deployments of simulation training: to improve America’s performance in a NATO mock tank battle that the US consistently performed poorly in, nicknamed the Canadian Army Trophy. After implementing DARPA’s rudimentary gaming-as-training regimen, the US won. Three decades later, the US Ski and Snowboard Association is using VR training in what could serve as a repeat of that result. Read More >>

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Watch This Guy Sink a Record-Breaking 660-Foot Basketball Shot From Atop a Waterfall

From the free-throw line—a distance of just 15 feet—I can maybe put the ball in the basket about twenty per cent of the time. I’m not NBA material, but the league might consider drafting the guys from YouTube’s How Ridiculous, who just nailed a seemingly impossible 660-foot basketball shot. Read More >>