The other Olympic competition: to create faster, lighter, more powerful equipment.
As athletes trained for Salt Lake City, physiologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers were in their own race: to make faster, more powerful, lighter gear. The 2002 Winter Games will feature new equipment in almost every sport-from supershort slalom skis to faster snowboards coated with indium. But the most spectacular hardware will likely be the simplest: a wee sled known as the skeleton, on which athletes travel headfirst up to 90 mph. Skeleton is a featured event for the first time since 1948.