Mark Fischetti is a senior editor at Scientific American who covers energy, environment and sustainability issues. Follow on Twitter
The Olympics is the world’s greatest athletic event. Men and women run, swim, dive, lift, vault, serve, swing, kick and play against one another until a champion is crowned, in sport after sport. But what separates each champion from his or her competitors, who are all elite athletes themselves?
To answer that and many other questions, Scientific American is introducing its first eBook, The Science of Sports: Winning in the Olympics. It has more than 30 chapters organized into eight sections that reveal the science—and some scandal—behind athletic achievement. It explores the psychology of what’s going on inside a champion’s mind during training and competition, explains cutting edge therapies that can prevent and repair injuries, reveals the genes, hormones and brain structures that allow certain individuals to push human limits, and looks at the cat-and-mouse games that are sometimes played between athletes who are trying to cheat with drugs and officials who are trying to catch them. The eBook also presents a final section of advice—for all of us—on how to be fit and healthy. Having organized the book, I can say that some of the insights in that section alone were surprising.
The eBook is available in a variety of formats, including those for the Kindle from Amazon, the iBook from Apple, the Nook from Barnes & Noble, and the Reader from Sony. Let us know what you think. And if you have an idea for another eBook, tell us that, too; hearing from the world’s science enthusiasts makes us a better team.