The Top 10 Sports Science Stories of 2012

A year of questioning the truth

Jan 7, 2013
Outside Magazine

Nike Lance Armstrong sign.    Photo: Bump/Flickr

The number 10 story on this list has little to do with sports science. In 2012, Paul Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he ran a 2:50 or so marathon. He was off by about an hour. The moderator of an online running forum pitched a simple question to the masses looking to find proof of Ryan’s race time. That got the ball rolling in the mind of at least one journalist. When it comes to sports marketing and achievement, a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted. Claims from athletes about doping, claims from companies about their products, and even small claims from politicians about seemingly unimportant athletic achievements can now be questioned by anyone in a public way. This year, that questioning came from a scientist worried that overzealous marketing was causing unnecessary deaths during sporting events, a non-profit non-governmental agency carrying on the investigation of an athlete that was dropped by the federal government, and a woman who started a class action lawsuit against a growing shoe company. They all had one thing in common: a quest for the truth.

10. Paul Ryan's Marathon Snafu
09. Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn Battle the FIS
08. Caster Semenya's Race
07. A Ski Season Burned at Both Ends
06. A Bible on Overhydration
05. A Barefoot Suit
04. Micah True's Death and the Too Much Running Debate
03. Sarah Burke's Death
02. Oscar Pistorius Has His Olympic Moment
01. Lance Armstrong's Fall