TED Blog

If you’ve ever seen grainy old sports footage—for example, a boxing match from the late 1800s, a Princeton/Yale game from 1903, or Babe Ruth’s famous home run from 1932—you probably noticed something: how different the game looks, compared to its modern counterpart. The equipment looks too clunky, the uniforms impossibly baggy. Even the bodies of the players look weirdly out of shape. Why is that?

Like any human endeavor, sports evolve over time. Science and technology fuel these changes, providing ever-better gear made with superior materials, better information about nutrition and training, and improvements in data generation and analysis that help push the limits of athletic capability.

At TED2014 — which kicks off in just nine days — two speakers will talk about the role of science and technology in sports. Sports science journalist David Epstein will discuss how athletics change rapidly over time, while NFL punter

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