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posted by mattie_p on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the and-now-for-sports dept.

CoolHand writes:

"Sci-Tech Today talks about the role of technology in the Olympics from a unique perspective:

Every advance in the ever-accelerating juggernaut of sports technology threatens to widen the divide between Olympic haves and have-nots. Well-sponsored teams and rich governments pay top-end scientists and engineers to shape their skis, perfect their skates, tighten their suits, measure their gravitational pull.

I'm no luddite, but this seems to make these sports more about who can afford the best tech, and less about the true spirit of the games: bringing the best athletes from all countries together to compete. How can it be about the athletes, when some of the best athletes may never win due to lack of funding/tech?"

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Covalent on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:41PM

    by Covalent (43) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:41PM (#1837) Journal

    Professional golf and baseball have both resisted the urge to use new tech. Aluminum bats would make MLB hitting records obsolete in 1 season, as would new tech in supersized drivers and the like for golf.

    If the IOC wanted to level the playing field, they could institute standards like MLB and PGA have. In fact, if I remember correctly, they did do this with the swimming suits used in '08 in Beijing.

    Just draw the line at some point and say "This is OK, this is not" and let the world catch up.

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bungle on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:48PM

    by bungle (1370) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:48PM (#1843)

    Or make everyone use the same equipment...

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:07PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:07PM (#1868)

      Here's your jockstrap, I'll need it back for the 1:30 game.

      Sorry I know what you meant, but couldn't resist a little fun.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
    • (Score: 1) by buswolley on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:17PM

      by buswolley (848) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:17PM (#1875)

      ... except I'd randomize to two conditions (with tech, without tech). Then we could measure the impact of science.

      --
      subicular junctures
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:08PM (#1916)

    Even then, the rich and resourceful countries will have an advantage over the one's that are starving for the basic necessities. What about nutrition and training programs that the rich can afford, but poor cannot?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Kawumpa on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:33PM

    by Kawumpa (1187) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:33PM (#1988)

    This works only in the sports where there isn't a huge sporting goods industry attached, at least from a sponsor's point of view. Snowboarding and skiing are for the masses, so improvements in technology can and will be marketed, because everyone wants to have what Lindsey Vonn or Marcel Hirscher run on. That's not so much the case in say biathlon or ski jumping. Nevertheless, equipment is only one part of the equation, medical support, training regimes and facilities are others. So even if the equipment playing field would be levelled, rich countries or rich sports federations will always have an advantage, especially when it comes to youth programs, spotting and nurturing young talent. I would argue that this is the case in baseball and golf too.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Paradise Pete on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:02AM

    by Paradise Pete (1806) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:02AM (#2326)

    Professional golf and baseball have both resisted the urge to use new tech.

    Golf tech, while it has some strict limits, such as a maximum CoR for clubheads, is way beyond what it was not very many years ago. Players now hit the ball *much* farther and straighter than they used to be able to, and control the spin and trajectory in ways players never would have imagined.