Is basketball the same without the sound effect?

I recently discussed the matter of authenticity in connection with soymilk.  I asked: Is soymilk milk?  Fake milk? 

High-tech curling brooms banned

Sweeping restrictions have been announced by Curling Canada, the national regulator for the sport of curling.  That is, Curling Canada has outlawed certain sorts of curling brooms that support novel kinds of sweeping.

The move follows controversy originating in the previous season with the introduction of brooms designed to allow sweepers to significantly change the trajectory of a curling stone after it has been thrown.

The magic carpet of the Rio Olympics

One of the main sources of excitement at a Summer Olympics is watching sprinters break Olympic and world records.  In this respect, the 2016 Rio Games was a bit of a bust.  The only such record to be broken was by Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa in the Men's 400m final.

The Cyborgian games?

One of the most salient technology-society issues in Olympic sport is that of  enhancement.  Consider my recent post on gene doping, for example.  In general, the question is: When is the use of technology in a sport appropriate or acceptable?

Should gene doping in sport be accepted?

I noted in an earlier post that the Rio Olympics marks the first time that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has proactively tested for cheating, specifically for gene doping.  

A recent article in New Scientist rehearses some arguments for why gene doping should simply be accepted, rather than banned and policed.  I want to briefly go over those arguments here.

Gender and the Rio Summer Olympics

One of the most fundamental distinctions made in Olympic sports (and others) is the division between men's and women's events.  Most sports on offer at the Games feature events that are divided into exclusively male or female categories.

(Some exceptions come to mind: rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming are for women only, whereas Greco-Roman wrestling is for men only.  Men's and women's gymnastics involve some different equipment for men versus women.  Equestrian events are integrated.)

Are sports just games?

As the Rio Summer Olympics approach, the subject of sport, excellence, and cheating returns to the fore.  With it comes discussion of what cheating in sport is and why it is bad, or not.

In search of wrongdoing

One important means for enforcing rules of conduct is to allow police to search for evidence of violations.  Search can take many forms, as recent examples illustrate.

In the upcoming Rio Summer Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will be searching for evidence of gene doping.  Gene doping is the insertion of genes into a body's cells in order to modify their behavior for the purpose of enhancement (as opposed to gene therapy, which is done to restore health).  

Brain stimulators for Olympians?

With the approach of the Rio Summer Olympics, the role of technology in sport comes naturally to the fore.  Many of those questions center on issues of enhancement.

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