Advantage Play tells the dramatic stories of the key technological
breakthroughs in four thousand years of sporting history used to
gain an advantage in sport. Novel materials are never far away:
rubber for rugby and tennis balls, carbon fibre for bikes and
prosthetics, polyurethane for swimsuits. Breakthroughs crop up
throughout history, not just for modern football boots but for the
javelin of the ancient Greeks and even the original starting line
at Olympia. Our obsession with sporting data is not new although
our methods of collecting it is: phones, sensors and monitors.
Together, these breakthroughs reveal that the way we design sports
equipment has always been much the same. Rather than being a new
thing, sports technology is actually as old as civilisation. Where
will it all end? All current track and field events at the modern
Olympic Games will reach their limit within a generation. With his
30 years as a sports engineer, Steve Haake shows that in a world
where top performances are static, where we've found all the best
athletes and deployed the best coaching methods, the one thing that
might distinguish the winners from the losers is new technology.
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