I love a good sports technology story, and The Wall Street Journal has a winner today with a look at the high-tech materials used at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. The story, headlined "The Olympics of Engineering: From Heart Monitors to Translucent Fabric, the Winter Games Often Come Down to Who Has Better Gear," notes that "With hundredths of a second deciding who wins many events, a tiny tweak to a sled runner or a racing suit can mean the difference between gold and silver, or no medal at all." Plastics play a key role in many of the products mentioned in the report -- dating back to the 1972 Games, when East Germans first brought plastic luge sleds to compete with other teams' wooden models. (The East Germans dominated.) Some of the expensive, low-volume plastics sporting goods that first show up in Olympics equipment are bound to find other commerical applications.
Winning gold with high-tech equipment
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