2012 London Olympics

Science of Swimming

Watch how Olympian Missy Franklin swims for gold in a video from NBC Learn

August 02, 2012

It's swimming science: Missy Franklin swims against three types of drag forces as she races in the pool.

Olympic swim star Missy Franklin, 17, is making a big splash at the 2012 London Games. The American swimmer, who entered her first Olympics already a world record holder, earned her first gold medal in the women's 100-meter backstroke event on July 31. She has also won a gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay and a bronze in the 4x100 freestyle relay—and there are more events to come.

How do Franklin and other world-class swimmers achieve such high speeds? Watch the video below to learn how Franklin must use her body and technique to fight against drag forces in the pool. The video is part of the "Science of the Summer Olympic Games: Engineering in Sports" video series from NBC Learn, the educational division of NBC News. Other videos in the series, which were created in a partnership with the National Science Foundation, look at the mechanics of weightlifting, the strength and flexibility of double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius and more. Watch more videos at nbclearn.com.

Current subscribers log in/register for timeforkids.com 

Registered Users Log In

Forgot Password?
Register Now for FREE
Subscriber Benefits
Do it now to get all this:
  • Access to Interactive Digital Editions
  • Online Archives of Past Lessons & Teachers' Guides
  • Interactive Teacher Community
Website Login Page