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Better, Faster, Stronger


Over two thirds of all world records in athletics were set in the past 20 years. Let that sink in for a minute. Humans have been competing with each other for thousands of years — and keeping records for nearly 200 — and yet athletes from just the past two decades hold the majority of the top achievements. Why? Most likely, the answer isn’t that we humans alive today are inherently stronger, faster, or more talented than earlier generations; it’s that we have better technology at our disposal. We have better tools, better equipment, and better data — all of which allow us to train harder, go faster, and push the limits of human athletic performance. In this series, we’ll explore those technologies and illuminate how advanced science and engineering are helping today’s athletes become better, faster, and stronger than ever before.

Kollide helmet frame

3 next-gen helmet designs that could curb concussions in the NFL

In 2019, the NFL launched a design competition for safer helmet technologies. These are the three companies that won, along with their incredible technologies
SoFi Stadium's Infinity Screen

Inside SoFi Stadium’s monstrous 70,000-square-foot Infinity Screen

The real star of this year's Super Bowl wasn't the players or even the halftime show performers -- it was SoFi Stadium's monstrous Infinity Screen
A man sets up RFID technology in the Ravens stadium.

The NFL wants to predict injuries before they happen. Here’s how

Hawk-Eye goal line camera

How Hawk-Eye cameras are making football fairer and faster than ever

With a phalanx of specialized cameras, Hawk-Eye Innovations can provide better replay footage, more accurate calls, and fewer game stoppages.
The Protect3d 3D scanning process.

Fighting football injuries with 3D-printed, hyper-personalized pads

Protec3d is on a mission to replace generic, one-size-fits-all football pads with 3D printed, hyper-personalized ones that offer more protection for players
Pink and white Nike Track and Field AIR ZOOM VAPORFLY NEXTpercent 2 shoe on gradient background.

Performance enhancing shoes? How Nike’s controversial Vaporfly line redefined running

Nike's 'performance-enhancing' Vaporfly running shoes are headed to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but some running enthusiasts don't think they should be allowed
Crack team of Intel engineers setting up 3DAT equipment at Olympic Trials.

Intel’s incredible athlete-tracking A.I. is the ‘holy grail’ of training tech

3DAT, Intel's athlete-tracking A.I., was built to boost the viewer experience at the Olympics, and it has huge potential as a training tool for elite athletes.
An athlete aims his bow during the men's individual archery ranking round held in Yumenoshima Park as part of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

The incredible engineering inside an Olympic archer’s bow

The bows used in modern archery competitions have more in common with Formula 1 race cars than they do with the simple wooden bows of centuries past.
Hammer throw athlete Britney Henry in mid-swing

Under the radar: How a 117-year old technology gives Olympic throwers an edge

It takes more than sheer strength to be an elite thrower, so today's top athletes often use a unique kind of radar technology to optimize their performance.
Man riding on a bicycle in the woods wearing Castelli cycling apparel.

Wind breakers: The epic quest to eliminate aerodynamic drag

The faster an athlete travels, the more resistance they meet from the forces of aerodynamic drag. Here's how engineers are helping minimize that problem.
Woman holding the OMEGA electronic starting pistol.

Quantum clocks and e-pistols: The ultra-precise timekeeping of the Tokyo Games

In the Olympics, a single microsecond can mean the difference between winning and losing a race, so timekeeping systems need to be outrageously accurate.
An esports arena at Blizzcon 2018.

Esports on the Olympic stage? It’s only a matter of time

The Olympics have yet to accept esports and it will hurt them in the long run.
hyperice hypervolt

On the mend: Inside the rapid recovery tech that keeps NFL players game-ready

In the past, an NFL player's recovery routine was just stretching and rest. Now they use things like cryotherapy, electrostimulation pads, and infrared saunas
NFL field turf

Turf tech: The surprisingly sophisticated science of the lowest part of the game

Grass is the ideal playing surface for football, and that's not an accident. The turf that the NFL uses is the culmination of centuries of selective breeding.
USA Football MVP Robotics

Smart dummies: How robotic tackling tech is transforming football practice

Concussions frequently take place during football practice. This robot tackling dummy could help reduce that risk, and also give players an edge.
The NFL's Daniel Sorensen tries to tackle Darren Waller

How the NFL’s on-player RFID tags are quietly revolutionizing football

Seven years ago, the NFL started tracking players with RFID tags. Now, all the data it has captured is causing some significant changes to the game.
helmet engineering

Hit takers: The cutting-edge engineering making football helmets safer than ever

Helmet technology has come a long way since the leatherhead days of football. Today, materials science is driving a revolution in head protection tech