How Do They Do That? Olympic Curling and Ice

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jessica Schultz of USA in action during curling training on day 2 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Ice Cube Curling Centre on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Clive Mason/Getty)

The 2014 Sochi Olympics are in full swing, and today The Takeaway kicks off its series on the scientific dynamics behind the winter games, How Do They Do That?

All week, Eric Goff, physics professor at Lynchburg College and author of "Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports," will serve as The Takeaway's Olympic physicist, explaining the physics that push humans to their most extreme limits. Today, Goff looks at the physics behind curling with Brady Clark, reigning national curling champion.

Speed skaters also took to the ice over the weekend, and Christopher Intagliata, senior producer for Science Friday, recently traveled to the to the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the American team trains. More speed skating records have been broken at the Olympic Oval than in any other arena, and Christopher explains the science behind the fastest ice on earth. You can find out more about what Christopher discovered in Utah here.

Guests:

Brady Clark, Eric Goff and Christopher Intagliata

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson, Arwa Gunja and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [3]

Tom Logie from North Port, FL

I would suggest a rules change to prevent a team from sitting on an early lead, like the NCAA rules basketball that killed Dean Smith's "4 corners" stall offense. If a team fails to score with the hammer in the 1st 9 ends, it loses the hammer for the next end. This would discourage plays "through the house" or repeated guard peels. In the 10th end and in any extra ends, a team without the hammer that breaks even is awarded a point. The point is that a team with the hammer in a close match must try to use it to score rather than running the other team out of stones. The hammer team's last stone in the 10th end could really have pressure packed into it, which would be exciting for the fans. I think this would make a good game great.

Feb. 10 2014 08:53 PM
Tosca Gonsalves from San Antonio, TX

Twice you emphasized the great results of Russia in skating, including speed skating. I would like to point out that they have one gold in figure and one bronz in speed. The Dutch have seven medals in speed skating, including three gold. And while your guest did not mention his nationality, since only the Russians were mentioned some might get confused; for the record, he is Dutch.

Feb. 10 2014 03:12 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

So, I curl up with the Olympics, read "Fifty Shades Of Monster Love,"to my girlfriend as we listen to Sonny Boy Williamson on harmonica. Thanks Takeaway for a very special kinky nerdy show today.

Feb. 10 2014 01:08 PM

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