When each nation’s athletes compete on the global stage, there’s no shortage of chemistry in their preparation and execution. And we’re not just talking about team chemistry – that magic element bonding together the members of each team.
Let’s start with the medals. Historically the medals were 100% gold and silver. Currently, gold medals contains about 92% silver and must contain at least 6 grams of gold. Silver and bronze medals are close to 100% silver and bronze.
The responsibility of designing and minting the medals belongs to the host of the world games every two years.
This year, the designers of the clothes for American athletes were tasked with not just dressing them, but keeping them warm. Temperatures in the South Korean capital are expected to average at 7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Insert wearable technology. The interior of the parkas worn in the opening ceremonies were printed with strips of electronic, heat-conducting metallic ink made from silver and carbon.
The bobsledders are also wearing modified clothing. Embedded in the fabric fleece lining of their uniforms is a blend of compounds including a thermal insulator to absorb and retain the body’s heat.
The winter games include dozens of exhibitions of athletic talent, all equally amazing to watch, even though we’re on the other side of the globe. You can read more about the chemistry involved in hockey on ChemistryMatters.com.