When Michael Phelps won his record-breaking eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, some of the races were decided by 100ths of seconds. Think about that. Athletes are so finely tuned that just one, tiny misstep could cost them the gold. Working towards this year’s games in London, some athletes are turning to technology for an extra edge. The BBC reports that bioscience could be the x-factor: “It allows researchers to get really up close and personal with an athlete’s body reactions, providing a much better understanding of physiology and biomechanics.” Stats like heart rate, muscle fatigue, stress levels, and perspiration are wirelessly monitored by coaches and computers to help athletes shave milliseconds and build strength.
Even if you’re not an Olympic athlete, you can still get in on the action. Fans are being increasingly invited to share in their favorite athlete’s stats by getting real-time feeds and comparing heart rates. Now I’ll finally be able to see how similar Phelps is to me. I’m pretty sure filling my mouth with cheese whiz will give my heart a similar shock as splashing out a 200 meter butterfly.