Maybe there’s no WikiWars in the Olympics this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same old-fashioned competitions. In fact, with some science and tech juicing up the games this time around, it could be a recipe for awesome. Olympic swimmers are already the fastest humans to hit the water, but there’s nothing like a little science to kick things up a notch — so hopes the designers behind the London Aquatics Centre’s 2012 Olympic swimming pool.
According to NBC Learn’s “The Science of the Summer Olympics,” a multi-part video series focusing on the technical aspects of the games, this water arena features some uncommon engineering tweaks designed to thwart waves and optimize the athletes’ performance. If all goes to plan, then these already speedy swimmers could log times that are faster than we’ve ever seen before.
So what goes into “one of the most technologically advanced pools ever built”? Here are a few choice nuggets, culled from the series:
- The pool features a mechanical moving floor! During competition, the floor will be held at a precise 10-foot-depth to mitigate the waves made by the Olympians (presumably to keep the motion from slowing the athletes down).
- The designers put in troughs around the perimeter of the pool. These are intended to absorb waves, so they don’t snap back into the swimmer’s lane and mess up his/her groove.
- There are lane lines that disperse energy, preventing swimmers from veering off into another’s lane.
For more on these advanced pools or other sports, check out the 10-part series by clicking the source link.