GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been one of the hottest games in modern history. The athletes are finding very interesting ways to beat the heat, too.
Tokyo has been experiencing temperatures well above 90 degrees for the past few weeks. This heat, coupled with oppressive humidity, is creating some miserable conditions for the athletes competing.
Because of the pandemic, athletes were not able to arrive at the stadium early to adjust. While most still trained in similar heat, conditions can be dangerous for athletes who are willing to push themselves to the limit in the quest for Olympic gold.
Scientists say it’s not uncommon for athletes to experience up to a 10% reduction in performance, especially if they arrive unacclimated to these conditions.
Both athletes and observers used tricks to beat the heat. Team USA flag bearers wore battery-powered cooling jackets to the Opening Ceremony. Onlookers used umbrellas for shade, while field hockey players brought bags of ice to keep cool.
Ice baths and ice vests have been a common sight. Triathletes found the best way to cool down on the course is to drink a slushy. Distance runners poured water on their heads during a race. Tennis players called for a delay in the start of their matches to avoid peak heating hours
The Olympic Committee decided to move the marathon race to the northernmost island, where temperatures are slightly cooler and to try and avoid heat-related illness.
We see a lot of heat in North Carolina, so maybe we can take a few tips from the Olympians.