This post has been contributed by Robert Korbin from HRS. As well as being an avid sports enthusiast, Robert deals in gentlemen’s and ladies hats for the horse races.

If there is an Olympic sport that has people wondering it has to be gymnastics. People flip flopping in midair is no minor thing. There is a lot that goes into this game and the first thing is to understand Newton’s laws.

To successfully achieve moves in gymnastics, a gymnasts uses all of Newton’s Laws. In this example, we look at the vault. This moves beings by the gymnast running and jumping off a spring board. The gymnast must use a good amount of force to propel themselves off the spring board and into the air. But how do they create this force?

We can look to Newton’s Laws for the answer to this question. In this case, we can look specifically at Newton’s Second Law of Motion, F=ma (F is force, m is mass, and a is acceleration). Since the gymnast cannot change their mass, they must work with other factors to increase the force. To get this greater force, they will have to change their acceleration. The equation for acceleration is a=v/t (a is acceleration, v is velocity, and t is time). We can see that the gymnast can increase their velocity during their initial run (by running faster) to increase velocity, and therefore, their force! This creates a maximum velocity before they reach the spring board.

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This time round in Rio, it is power to the women. One of the most powerful female athletes are the members of the US gymnastics’ team. The crème de la crème being none other than Simone Biles.

The 2016 Rio Olympics features more female athletes than ever before, and one of the most high-profile amongst them is Simone Biles. The 19-year-old American gymnast has already shattered several world records, and on Sunday, she made her debut in Rio. Even if you’re not normally interested in gymnastics, you should probably watch Simone Biles’ first Olympic performance, as it’s nothing short of stunning and, at times, appears to defy several basic laws of physics.

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Biles put on a spectacular performance that made many people proud to be associated with gymnastics. What came out in the praises was that Biles was in her own level, a standard of measurement in gymnastics.

Top quotes

“She may be the most talented gymnast I’ve ever seen in my life, honestly. And I don’t even think she’s tapped into what she really can do. I think she’s unbeatable.” – Mary Lou Retton, 1984 Olympic gymnastics champion.

“Words that come to mind: powerful, consistent, fun, always smiling. She is just absolutely a joy. And I think what people need to know about Simone is she loves the sport. She’s incredibly talented, but she just has so much fun out there and it’s absolutely infectious to the audience.” – Shannon Miller, seven-time Olympic medalist and member of the Magnificent Seven.

“She makes me so glad I retired! She literally throws my hardest skills that I kind of paved a new way in gymnastics for, as her easiest pass. It’s really humbling. I literally watch her and I’m just in awe.” – Shawn Johnson, 2008 Olympic champion on balance beam and all-around silver medalist

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