In just a few days, millions of eyes will be on the biggest sporting event of the summer. This upcoming major international multi-sport event is due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5th to the 21st. For those of us participating in sport or simply keen to watch these events, I think this will be a fantastic firework of performances, achievements and discoveries of sports that we barely know but that we might be watching with great interest.
For me, three words are the symbols for this event:
- Performance: winning the game and becoming the Champion is the dream of numerous athletes training hard for four years and using the latest technologies to boost their performances and achieve their goals
- Safety: Despite their quest for the best possible performance, athletes and coaches need to keep in mind the limitations of their human body and use whatever innovation and technology exist to prevent injuries
- Fair spirit: Regulations although constraining and perhaps frustrating ensure that all athletes will compete in a fair way giving everyone the chance to succeed, whatever success means to them.
So, you may have wondered about the title of my post today. Well, there was a time when the Latin expression Panem et Circenses (Bread and Games) was a sort of marketing tagline meaning, loosely, a full belly and entertainment. Today technology is playing a critical role.
For many companies, this is a fantastic opportunity for them to expose their know-how in equipment design. To them, I’d imagine, a failure is unacceptable, while a success could quickly translate in huge business opportunities. No matter if they are designing sporting equipment, wearables, consumer electronics or even designed the stadiums where the events are being held. Engineers and technicians have been working hard for at least four years to design, test and optimize the solution that would boost the performances of the athletes or keep them safe and comfortable within the frame of existing regulations.
I am particularly thrilled by the increasing role engineering simulation plays by enabling the designers to test far more prototypes than ever before or to improve the elite sport people position through athlete specific modeling. In fact, I have devoted an entire ANSYS Sports webinar series — The Contribution of Simulation to 21st-Century Sport Engineering — covering various topics. All of the webinars are available on-demand and I welcome your thoughts or questions.
Now, athletes, coaches, engineers and technicians, we have all done our best to be ready for the big event!
Further reading: Dramatic Changes in Sports