Go Rio!

Finally the wait is over. Today, on the dot of midnight, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games will start at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. It's inspired us to look into the quite substantial collection of sport related articles we have built up over the years, covering anything from dressage (yes, dressage), via ping pong, to the all-important athletics events. On this page we bring you some of our favourites to while away the time in-between events. Enjoy!

(To see all Plus articles on sport click here. You might also want to visit our sister site which contains sport related maths resources for students aged 5 to 18.)

Who will top the Rio medal table? — We start with a recent attempt by mathematicians to predict who will do best. Will they be proved right?

The maths of gold medals: Four Olympic thoughts — It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts. At least, that's what the Olympic creed would have us believe. But, like it or not, what the media and governments focus on is the tally of gold medals. This article explores some of the maths of gold.

Athletics — What has mathematics got to say about the quest for ever faster times? Find out in No limits for Usain.

Tennis — With Andy Murray set to carry Team GB's flag, we can't ignore the beautiful sport of tennis. Here's a collection of articles, originally put together for this year's Wimbledon.

Cycling — With Chris Froome winning the Tour de France twice in a row, we can't ignore cycling either! We start simply, examining the maths of bike gears, accelerate into the banked turns that are essential in any velodrome and finish with the beauty and maths of the London 2012 velodrome.

Swimming — Swimming is another very popular Olympic sport. We investigate the use of controversial swim suits and admire the maths of another famous Olympic, and mathematical, building: the Beijing 2008 swimming venue.

Gymnastics — Gymnastics is something we avoided at school: it just seemed so dangerous. In this article we investigate the forces acting on a gymnast swinging on the high bar.

Putting your oar in — How should you place the rowers in a rowing boat? This article shows that the traditional way is not ideal. And when it comes to canoes and kayaks we ask whether having more people on board is a help or a hindrance.

Sports with strange ballsWe investigate whether the relatively new scoring system in ping-pong favours skill or luck, and examine the aerodynamics of shuttlecocks.

Riding — And finally, here's the article relating to dressage! We investigate the maths of a horse's paces and why it's useful to change gait when changing speed.

Football — Olympic football admittedly isn't as good as the other variety, but there's still a lot of interesting maths in the sport generally. Here's a collection of articles we put together for the recent European Championships.

Doping — We're loathe to end on a sad note, but doping is an important issue, especially in this Olympic Games. Here's an article on the logic of drug testing.


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