Kevin Fixler
    Sport Matters

21 February 2015

The Man with Olympic Doodads

Filed under: The Sports Fix — Tags: , , , , , , , , — kevinfixler @ 8:00 am

Much like the setting of Mounir Zok’s office, located in the newly renovated U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, his field of specialty remains largely a work in progress. But that isn’t stopping him in his quest to get more Americans on podiums, holding more medals, preferably gold.

His secret weapon? Well, we can’t say exactly what it is (that’s secret), but it’s about a host of cool little monitoring gadgets, some of which athletes are tucking in their shoes, wearing as bracelets or slipping into their shorts. It seemed like only a few Olympics ago that specialized training and nutrition were all the rage in gaining a competitive edge. But today, it’s all about these doodads that have become the magical third eye of coaching, little trackers on steroids for when, as Zok puts it, “the naked vision is not enough anymore.”

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18 February 2015

When Perfection Happened

It’s one of those classic moments in sports that is universal for those of a certain age. Actually, it was more than a classic moment. It was a perfect moment.

It was 1976, at the Olympic Games in Montreal, and Cold War politics were being played out through sport every four years on the grandest of stages. There, vaulting onto the uneven bars was a tiny Romanian, Nadia Comaneci, with a ponytail in ribbons, dressed in a mostly white leotard with the number 73 pinned on the back. Flip after spin, she seemed to effortlessly fly through the air for 17 breathless seconds before dismounting in a swan dive. She landed expertly on her feet, and the crowd erupted.

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