A young guest uses the OLED screens in the Lab
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The Lab demonstrates how science and technology play a role in maximizing an athlete’s performance in training and competition. This gallery highlights technological advancements in equipment, rehabilitation and recovery methods and showcases the importance of clean sport.

Learn the secrets behind what makes Team USA athletes so fast

The Lab Gallery at U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum

Do you ever wonder how athletes are able to go so fast? In the Lab, guests learn some of the secrets behind Team USA’s specialized technology, including the science behind swimsuit and speedskating fabrics, as well as why some athletes wear that strange tape all over their bodies.

See the science behind the shoes

The Lab Gallery - Interactive Screens

What goes into being an Olympic and Paralympic shoemaker? A lot! Elite athletes are often among the first to benefit from advances in technology and design. As part of this exhibit, the Lab explains just how far Nike went to develop track spikes for sprinters.

Discover how science is used for athlete training and recovery

The Lab Gallery - Racing Wheelchair

It’s not only about going faster but slowing down as well. Athlete technology extends into training and recovery helping to prevent from competition wear and tear and burnout. When thousandths of a second can be the difference in a podium finish, high-tech recovery systems become even more important. In the Lab, guests will see ways athletes get some much needed rest by enhancing their range of motion and blood flow and decreasing inflammation.

Hear from Hall of Fame athletes, Edwin Moses and Eric Heiden

The Lab includes a discussion of the roles played by science and technology in the development of athletes

Some athletes will do anything to gain an edge, even going beyond the rules of fair play. But with advancements in technology, there have been improved testing and enforcement that help protect the Games’ integrity and prevent cheating.

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame members Edwin Moses and Eric Heiden narrate pieces in this gallery. Moses, who is the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Education Committee and previously served as chairman of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Board of Directors, talks about what is being done to combat doping. Heiden, an orthopedic surgeon, provides a look at the effects of doping on the body.

Must-see artifacts in The Lab

Michael Johnson's gold spike

See Michael Johnson's gold spike at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum

In his custom-made gold shoes, Michael Johnson won the 400-meter race and 200-meter race at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, shattering the world record by .34 seconds in the latter.

The racing wheelchair of Amanda McGrory

Amanda McGrory nears the finish line in her racing wheelchair

Despite being paralyzed from the waist down since childhood, Amanda McGrory has since become one of the world’s top wheelchair racers.

The prosthetic leg of Scout Bassett

See Scout Bassett's prosthetic leg at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum

Scout Bassett discovered her passion for track and field when only a teenager and continued to prove herself a dominant force in the sport.




Featured Athletes

Eric Heiden

Eric Heiden won an unprecedented gold medals in all five distances at the Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games, from the 500-meter sprint to the grueling 10,000-meter race.

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Joan Benoit

Joan Benoit had knee surgery 17 days before the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials, but finished first at the Trials and won gold in the first-ever Olympic women’s marathon at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

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