Scenes from the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

The Rise of the Modern Sportswoman

Women have long fought against the assumption that they are weaker than men, and the battle isn’t over yet

A few of the Olympians pose for a photo upon their return to the U.S. after the 1936 Games. In the back row, on the far right is Tidye PIckett and third from the left is Louise Stokes.

Sports History Forgot About Tidye Pickett and Louise Stokes, Two Black Olympians Who Never Got Their Shot

Thanks to the one-two punch of racism and sexism, these two women were shut out of the hero’s treatment given to other athletes

Esther Williams, Million Dollar Mermaid

Synchronized Swimming Has a History That Dates Back to Ancient Rome

Before it reached the Olympics, the sport was a spectacle of the circus and vaudeville

Children salute the American flag in 1915.

The Rules About How to Address the U.S. Flag Came About Because No One Wanted to Look Like a Nazi

During the National Anthem, Americans are asked to put their right hands over their hearts. But why?

Book carts can already get out of control quickly, so careening them along a twisty course was treacherous indeed.

Librarians Have an Olympics, Too

Brains met brawn in a bookish competition for the ages

Cupping Isn't the Only Strange Tactic Olympic Athletes Use to Get a Boost

Those painful cupping "hickies" are only the start—athletes go to great lengths to gain an edge

Gymnast Dominique Dawes competes on the balance beam during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Dominique Dawes' Guide to Watching Gymnastics

The former gold medalist offers a cheat sheet on her sport’s rules, maneuvers and slang

“Even the greatest things in the world need attention when they’re not as strong as they could be. It was a cry for freedom,” says Tommie Smith of his silent act at the 1968 Olympics.

What You Don’t Know About Olympian Tommie Smith’s Silent Gesture

The simple act of civil disobedience, thrusting a black-gloved fist in the air, produced shock waves across the nation

Chuck Taylor All Star, circa 1957

How Chuck Taylor Taught America How to Play Basketball

A shoe-in for the first ever basketball game in the Olympics, Converse All Stars have a long history both in and out of sport

Pankration scene: the pankriatiast on the right tries to gouge his opponent's eye; the umpire is about to strike him for this foul.

The Ancient History of Cheating in the Olympics

Punishment for cheating and bribery in the Olympics of Ancient Greece could include fines, public flogging and statewide bans from competition

New anti-Zika measures go way beyond bug spray.

All the Extremely Absurd Ways People Are Fighting Zika at the Rio Olympics

Donning facial masks, wearing Zika-proof uniforms and freezing sperm: Does any of this stuff actually work?

Athletes with Down Syndrome compete in the first-ever Olympic-style competition for people with the condition.

Italy Just Hosted the First Olympics-Like Competition for People With Down Syndrome

The unique competition drew 1,000 athletes

An artist's rendition of the Rio Olympics facilities for the 2016 Summer Games. Some of the media accommodations were apparently built on top of remnants of Brazil's slave history.

The Media Village at the Rio Olympics Is Built on a Mass Grave of Slaves

As Brazil looks forward to an Olympic future, it buries its past

Rio's favelas, like Santa Marta (shown here), are no longer blank spaces on Google Maps.

Mapping Rio's Favelas

Ahead of the Olympics, Google and a Brazilian nonprofit have been recruiting locals to pinpoint businesses and other landmarks in the city's shantytowns

Paul Amotun Lokoro and Anjelina Nadai Lohalith of South Sudan, part of the Olympic's first team of refugees

Olympics Allows Refugees to Compete on Their Own Team

Ten refugee-athletes from Syria, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo will compete at the Rio Olympics

An artist's representation of an artificial meteor shower.

This Startup Wants to Open the 2020 Olympics With a Man-Made Meteor Shower

Could the only thing better than fireworks be fireworks launched from space?

A man with a mind-controlled prosthetic competes in a test run of October's Cybathlon in Switzerland.

Switzerland Will Host the First Cyborg Olympics

The “Cybathlon” will show what happens when humans and machines collaborate

Local workers disinfects the famous Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 26 January 2016.

Zika Virus May Spell Trouble for the Rio Olympic Games

U.S Olympic Committee officials suggest that athletes concerned about Zika stay on the sidelines this year

Russia's Anna Sidorova plays during the 2014 World Women's Curling Championship.

The World of Competitive Curling Has Its Very Own Scandal

Is new technology too dominant for the Olympic sport?

The International Olympic Committee Just Rescued Its Priceless Video Archive

Seven years and 100,000 hours of work later, the IOC’s archive has been digitized and preserved

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