Olympic Question Time: Your queries answered
Friday 03 August 2012
Q. Why do you get pro tennis players but only amateur boxers? Sally Armstrong
A. That's a question the boxing and Olympic authorities have been asking – so they're changing it for Rio. It's always been thought that professional boxing (no headguard, longer bouts) is more dangerous and is best not in the Olympics. But it also means that the most talented (eg, Amir Khan, pictured below) turn professional after the Games and are lost from the Olympic talent pool. But boxing is addressing this by introducing a new class of professional boxers who compete in the new "World Series of Boxing". They won't be the absolute superstars, but they will be salaried. At the Rio Games in four years, more than 50 of the new-breed professionals will take part.
Q. Why are swimming winners always in the centre lanes? Kolo Cukali
A. They get there by qualifying quickest. The side lanes are slower as they get backwash as waves hit the side walls. But it's not as bad as it used to be. Deeper pools, new designs for lane ropes and overflow gutters help keep the water as still (and fast) as possible.
Q. Why was Team GB introduced in French in the Opening Ceremony? Bob Molton
A. Because French is the primary language of the International Olympic Committee, based in the (French-speaking) city of Lausanne.
Q. Why do the runners always run anti-clockwise? Alexander Moffatt
A. This was not always the case, but the track-direction was standardised (with a couple of exceptions) a century ago – and the convention has lasted. Why anti-clockwise? Lots of theories here. Most convincing is that most athletes are right-handed (and right-footed), meaning they can push harder with their stronger leg if they go anti-clockwise. Some also say the heart, being on the left side of the body, finds it easier to pump blood with the centrifugal force acting from left to right.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet using the hashtag #indyolympics, live from the Olympic Park – or your sofa. We'll try to get you an answer asap and the best questions will be printed. Please remember we may be too busy to answer everyone, but if you think you can solve someone else's query, all the better! Thanks for sending them in.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Paul Pogba to Chelsea? Juventus star linked with £60m transfer spotted in west London
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid star
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories