Tag Archives: sports

Amateur sports show how people with foreign-sounding names are discriminated against

Image credits: Jeffrey F Lin.

The current pandemic has made it abundantly clear just how important social relations are. People all around the world are staying and working from home and many suffer from a lack of interaction with friends and family.

Social relations are especially important when moving to another country or city. While economic research has shown that people with foreign-sounding names suffer from discrimination in various interactions (when they apply for a job, when renting an Airbnb apartment, or when trying to get an Uber) it has neglected social integration.

This is very surprising as a large share of the population in many European countries is foreign-born (e.g., 29.7% in Switzerland, 19.3% in Austria, or 15.6% in Norway) — and people don’t just work and buy things, but also want to make friends and establish a social network. Without friends, life can be very unpleasant, despite a good job or a nice house. Having a social network is essential for people to feel comfortable in their (new) surroundings.

In many European countries, newcomers have a straightforward way to get access to a new social network: amateur sports. It can be hard to make social connections as an adult, and for many people, contacting one of the many local football, tennis, basketball, handball, or hockey clubs is a great way to start. Basically, that means that players meet once or twice a week, play the game, have the occasional beer after practice, and play a match against another team every other weekend or so. While being competitive is important, the focus is often on having a good time with friends while trying to stay fit. It’s a social activity as well as exercise.

I am part of a team of researchers from the University of Zürich in Switzerland and the NTNU in Norway who used this setting for an interesting research idea. We created fake email accounts with typical foreign- and native-sounding names and contacted amateur football clubs asking to participate in a training session. We estimate that it is an accurate method to measure access to social integration.

Declining to invite someone for a training session is similar to not giving the person access to a social network — they’re excluded from the social circle they’re trying to access. We performed the experiment not in one but in several countries to have a comprehensive overview of access to social integration for the respective countries.

We decided to perform the experiment using amateur football clubs. Football is by far the most popular amateur sport in Europe and tens of thousands of amateur football clubs exist throughout Europe. We identified 22 European countries that fit with the experimental setting. First, we gathered the emails of all amateur football clubs. Then, we translated the mail into the respective languages of the countries and created foreign-sounding names for natives and the three largest foreign groups in each country. Finally, we clarified in surveys in the respective countries that the names sounded indeed native or foreign.

Before the pandemic started, we sent more than 23,000 emails to amateur football clubs all over Europe. The results showed that, on average, people with a foreign-sounding name are 10% less likely to receive a response (see the figure below). Many countries, e.g., Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Romania, were fairly close to the average for all European countries.

Figure 1. Response rate difference between foreign-sounding and native-sounding names. Mapping discrimination in Europe through a field experiment in amateur sport by Gomez-Gonzalez, Nesseler, and Dietl, 2021 (Nature).

But there were notable exceptions. In Hungary, Austria, and Croatia, people with foreign-sounding names were 20% less likely to receive a response. On the other hand, football clubs in Ireland, France, and Portugal discriminated only marginally against people with foreign-sounding names.

Our results are important both for the general public and for policymakers. National and local governments invest considerable sums into integration-related programs, and rightfully so. Individuals who leave a city or country because they were never able to establish a social network generate real costs for themselves and for society. Thus, social integration is a field where policymakers and researchers should closely work together.

Amateur sports clubs remain a relatively easy way for foreigners to develop a social circle, but the present field experiment shows that discrimination against ethnic minority groups is still present. If we want to foster healthy social interactions for everyone, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

The findings have been published in Humanities and Social Sciences, a Nature journal.

Sweat, not oil: Sports are floating on a sea of high-carbon sponsorship

Companies are promoting “high carbon lifestyles, products and services” through sports sponsorship, according to a new report, which found over 250 sponsor agreements between sports groups and high carbon industries such as the fossil fuel industry.

The researchers call on the sport industry to better screen their sponsorship offers.

Gazprom, the largest publicly-listed natural gas company in the world, is an important investor in sports. In the photo: Vyacheslav Karavaev (Вячеслав Караваев, Zenit St. Petersburg).

Sports-washing

Sponsorship in sport is a multi-billion-dollar business. Some aspects of it go back to the ancient days of pre-Olympic games, when races where sponsored. It’s safe to say that since then, the sector has gone through significant changes. Now, with celebrity athletes and huge audiences, sport sponsorship is a key player in the advertising industry. Its impact, however, is more questionable.

Not every sponsor is the same, according to the recent report “Sweat not oil.” Researchers from the New Weather Institute, the Possible climate charity, and the Rapid Transition Alliance identified a total of 258 sponsorship deals across 13 sports globally with companies that offer high-carbon products and services.

“We know about ‘greenwash’ – when polluters falsely present themselves as environmentally responsible. This is ‘sports-wash’ – when heavily polluting industries sponsor sport to appear as friends of healthy activity, when in fact they’re pumping lethal pollution into the very air that athletes have to breathe and wrecking the climate that sport depends on,” Andrew Simms, co-author, told The Guardian.

Simms and the group of researchers argued high-carbon sponsorship of sport has, in many ways, replaced once common and now disgraced deals with tobacco companies. Direct association with high-carbon products poses an increasing reputation risk for sports and contradicts the pledges of climate action that many sports bodies are starting to endorse.

Of all the sports analyzed (including tennis, cycling, basketball, golf, and rugby, among many others) the researchers found that soccer has the most high-carbon sponsorship deals. They identified a total of 57 partnerships with companies in high-emission sectors such as oil and gas extraction, automotive manufacturing, and the airline industries.

The study also highlighted the car industry as the most active high-carbon sector in sports sponsorship, with 199 deals. Airlines were second with 63 partnerships, followed by fossil fuel companies like Gazprom and Ineos. The Japanese carmaker Toyota and the Emirates airline were identified as the largest high-carbon sponsors, with partnerships in most sports categories.

“Many high carbon companies controversially sign onto scientifically dubious carbon offsetting programmed, while keeping their core business practices largely unchanged,” the researchers wrote. “It’s equally questionable for sports organizations to claim climate neutrality while accepting money from companies who are directly undermining their climate commitments.”

The study outlined several policies that sports can adopt to achieve their sustainability targets, such as screening corporate sponsors and rejecting offers from companies promoting high carbon lifestyles, products, and services. Other suggestions include setting annual sustainability targets and canceling or postponing sports events after 2030 that aren’t zero carbon.

A 2020 report, Playing Against the Clock, estimates the sport’s overall carbon footprint to be in a range which, at the low end, would be equivalent to that of a nation like Bolivia, and at the higher end equal to the emissions of countries like Spain or Poland. The Olympics and the World Cup release as much as 7-8 million tons of greenhouse gases, the report showed.

Calling the shot: New study shows the best way to practice football penalty-taking

Many a decisive game was decided by scoring — or missing — penalties. In theory, scoring from the penalty spot should be simple enough but things are not always so straightforward. Now, scientists present a new and improved way to practice penalty-taking.

Lionel Messi, universally regarded as one of the best players in modern football, shown here taking a penalty against Iceland. He didn’t score.

The white penalty spot has haunted many players, and will likely continue to do so, but the new study might make missing shots much rarer.

Generally speaking, there are two ways to take a penalty shot. Some players decide on where they want to put the ball beforehand — regardless of what the goalkeeper will do. The reasoning behind it is simple: if you hit the ball good enough, the odds are the goalkeeper won’t be able to save it anyway. This is called the goalkeeper-independent method.

But other players try to use more finesse: they keep an eye on the goalkeeper, anticipating and deciding where to hit the ball as they run towards it. The idea is that if the goalkeeper dives early, you can put the ball in the other direction — and if he (or she) dives late, then there’s already a smaller chance of saving the ball. In theory, this is the more effective method, but it’s also much more challenging.

There’s not much time to decide where you want to put the ball, and research has shown that if the goalkeeper dives late, this makes the striker’s attempt far less accurate. Since most penalties are taken in highly stressful situations, the decision-making process is not at all simple. Also, goalkeepers use diversion tactics too, which can add extra confusion.

With this in mind, a team of British researchers has come up with a training method that can improve accuracy and improve the decision-making process. They suggest that players should train using the implicit method — learning through independent decision-making, rather than coach-led sessions.

According to their routine, players should start off easy and then gradually increase the difficulty. For instance, by initially kicking from shorter distances and by using relatively large targets. Using this method, the cognitive load on the player is substantially reduced, allowing them to focus on the accuracy of the kick more.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Martina Navarro, a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, said:

“A successful penalty kick requires that the penalty taker produces an accurate, well-controlled kicking action and at the same time watches the goalkeeper and makes a decision to which side to kick the ball. In other words, it is a defining feature of the goalkeeper-dependent strategy that a conscious decision is made while kicking. This makes the goalkeeper-dependent strategy essentially a dual task.”

“By practicing kicking skill and accuracy in an implicit manner will benefit penalty kick performance with a goalkeeper-dependent strategy compared to performance following an explicit intervention to improve kicking accuracy.”

In order to test this approach, researchers compared their approach to conventional methods, studying them with football players from the youth academies of VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Red Bull Brasil in San Paulo, Brazil. Essentially, the players were split into two groups, and after a while, their performances were compared.

The study showed a similar decision-making efficiency for both groups, but the group practicing implicit training had higher overall accuracy. Researchers interpret this as a success — the cognitive load was eased without impairing the decision-making process, and this resulted in an overall improved control of the strike itself.

“When compared to explicit training, implicit training strategy results in higher kicking accuracy because it relies on an unconscious way of learning resulting in less cognitive demands while controlling the kick and therefore more attentional resources for deciding what side to kick.”

Although results are still preliminary and this is still a very small sample size, this is a promising find. Considering how important penalty kicks are in football, and how much importance (and money) is given to the sport, the matter will likely receive additional interest.

The study has been published in Human Movement Science

Venus Williams is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women's tennis. She is also a raw vegan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Vegetarian athletes can perform just as well — or even better — as meat-eaters, nutrition study finds

Venus Williams is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women's tennis. She is also a raw vegan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Venus Williams is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. She is also a raw vegan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Nutrition science looks confident that a vegetarian diet is health-wise superior to a meat-based diet. Forgoing meat lowers your risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, gallstones, obesity and food-borne illness. However, there are few studies that measured the difference in performance associated with a vegetarian diet for athletes.

Are veggie athletes weaker than omnivore athletes? This is a question that a recent study set out to answer. The findings suggest that veggie athletes perform just as well as omnivores at strength tasks and have a superior cardiovascular fitness.

The team from Arizona State University recruited 27 vegetarian and 43 omnivore athletes, both male and female, and tracked their diets for one full week. The participants were then put through various strength and fitness tests.

According to the dietary data, total protein intake was lower among vegetarians in comparison to omnivores. When viewed through a body mass index (BMI) lens, however, the protein intake proved to be nearly identical. For both groups, the protein intake was roughly equal to 1.2 grams per kg of body mass. In terms of calory intake, again, both groups scored the same. Apparently, no matter what they chose to put in their mouths, both groups consumed the same amount of calories.

In the case of men, both vegetarians and meat eaters scored the same in terms of body fat percentages, and lean body mass. A notable distinction was that meat-eating men had significantly more visceral fat — the kind that gets deposited around the abdomen but also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

During leg extensions that established peak torque, both groups performed almost just as well. So despite veggie athletes do not eat bacon or steaks, they can be just as strong as other elite sportsmen, which might surprise some.

[ALSO SEE] Why meat is unsustainable 

The treadmill trial showed vegetarians had significantly higher VO2 max than omnivores, the body’s upper limit for consuming, distributing and using oxygen for energy production. The more VO2, the longer you can sustain physical activity.

Though far from being the final word, the study published in Nutriets suggests that not only is a vegetarian diet healthier, it’s also just as good as meat-based diets for elite physical activity. Hopefully, more physical parameters will be gauged in future studies.

It’s worth mentioning again that the participants of this study had the same protein intake function of BMI. Don’t worry — it’s not that difficult to find high-protein veggie foods. The list below might help.

High Protein Vegetables and Beans (source)

Description Weight (grams) Measure Protein Content per Measure (grams)
Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw 33 1 cup 1.32
Artichokes, (globe or French), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 120 1 medium 4.18
Asparagus, canned, drained solids 72 4 spears 1.54
Asparagus, cooked, boiled, drained 60 4 spears 1.55
Asparagus, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 5.31
Avocados, raw, California 28.35 1 oz 0.60
Avocados, raw, Florida 28.35 1 oz 0.45
Beans, baked, canned, plain or vegetarian 254 1 cup 12.17
Beans, baked, canned, with franks 259 1 cup 17.48
Beans, baked, canned, with pork and sweet sauce 253 1 cup 13.43
Beans, baked, canned, with pork and tomato sauce 253 1 cup 13.05
Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 172 1 cup 15.24
Beans, Cowpeas (Blackeyes), immature seeds,  boiled, without salt 165 1 cup 5.23
Beans, Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature seeds, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 170 1 cup 14.43
Beans, Cowpeas, common (blackeyes, crowder, southern), mature seeds, 172 1 cup 13.30
Beans, great northern, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 177 1 cup 14.74
Beans, Kidney beans, red, mature seeds, canned 256 1 cup 13.44
Beans, Kidney beans, red, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 177 1 cup 15.35
Beans, Lima beans, large, mature seeds, canned 241 1 cup 11.88
Beans, Lima beans, large, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 188 1 cup 14.66
Beans, Mung beans, mature seeds, sprouted, cooked, boiled,  without salt 124 1 cup 2.52
Beans, Mung beans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 104 1 cup 3.16
Beans, Navy beans, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 182 1 cup 15.83
Beans, Pinto beans, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 171 1 cup 14.04
Soybeans, mature cooked, boiled, without salt 180 1 cup 22.23
Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 172 1 cup 28.62
Beans, Snap beans, green, canned, regular pack, drained solids 135 1 cup 1.55
Beans, Snap beans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 125 1 cup 2.36
Beans, White beans, mature seeds, canned 262 1 cup 19.02
Beet greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 144 1 cup 3.70
Beets, canned, drained solids 170 1 cup 1.55
Broccoli, raw 88 1 cup 2.62
Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 4.65
Beets, cooked, boiled, drained 170 1 cup 2.86
Beets, cooked, boiled, drained 50 1 beet 0.84
Cabbage, Chinese (pak-choi), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 170 1 cup 2.65
Cabbage, Chinese (pe-tsai), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 119 1 cup 1.79
Cabbage, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 150 1 cup 1.53
Cabbage, raw 70 1 cup 1.01
Cabbage, red, raw 70 1 cup 0.97
Cabbage, Savoy, raw 70 1 cup 1.40
Carrots, baby, raw 10 1 medium 0.08
Carrots, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 1.70
Carrots, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 146 1 cup 1.74
Carrots, raw 110 1 cup 1.13
Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 124 1 cup 2.28
Cauliflower, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 2.90
Cauliflower, raw 100 1 cup 1.98
Celery, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 150 1 cup 1.25
Celery, raw 120 1 cup 0.90
Corn, sweet, white, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 77 1 ear 2.56
Corn, sweet, yellow, canned, cream style, regular pack 256 1 cup 4.45
Corn, sweet, yellow, canned, vacuum pack, regular pack 210 1 cup 5.06
Corn, sweet, yellow, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 77 1 ear 2.56
Corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, kernels cut off cob, boiled, drained, without salt 164 1 cup 4.51
Corn, sweet, yellow, frozen, kernels on cob, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 63 1 ear 1.96
Cucumber, peeled, raw 119 1 cup 0.68
Cucumber, with peel, raw 104 1 cup 0.72
Dandelion greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 105 1 cup 2.10
Endive, raw 50 1 cup 0.63
Garlic, raw 3 1 clove 0.19
Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 198 1 cup 17.86
Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw 56 1 cup 0.91
Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisphead types), raw 55 1 cup 0.56
Lettuce, looseleaf, raw 56 1 cup 0.73
Mushrooms, canned, drained solids 156 1 cup 2.92
Mushrooms, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 3.39
Mushrooms, raw 70 1 cup 2.03
Mushrooms, shiitake, cooked, without salt 145 1 cup 2.26
Mushrooms, shiitake, dried 3.6 1 mushroom 0.34
Mustard greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 140 1 cup 3.16
Okra, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 2.99
Okra, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 184 1 cup 3.83
Olives, ripe, canned (small-extra large) 22 5 large 0.18
Onions, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 210 1 cup 2.86
Onions, dehydrated flakes 5 1 tbsp 0.45
Onions, raw 110 1 whole 1.28
Onions, spring or scallions (includes tops and bulb), raw 100 1 cup 1.83
Parsley, raw 10 10 sprigs 0.30
Parsnips, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 156 1 cup 2.06
Peas, edible-podded, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 5.23
Peas, edible-podded, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 5.60
Peas, green, canned, regular pack, drained solids 170 1 cup 7.51
Peas, green, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 160 1 cup 8.24
Peas, split, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt 196 1 cup 16.35
Peppers, hot chili, green, raw 45 1 pepper 0.90
Peppers, hot chili, red, raw 45 1 pepper 0.90
Peppers, sweet, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 136 1 cup 1.25
Peppers, sweet, green, raw 149 1 cup 1.33
Peppers, sweet, green, raw 119 1 pepper 1.06
Peppers, sweet, red, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 136 1 cup 1.25
Peppers, sweet, red, raw 119 1 pepper 1.06
Potato pancakes, home-prepared 76 1 pancake 4.68
Potato, baked, flesh and skin, without salt 202 1 potato 5.05
Potatoes, baked, flesh, without salt 156 1 potato 3.06
Potatoes, boiled, cooked in skin, flesh, without salt 136 1 potato 2.54
Potatoes, boiled, cooked without skin, flesh, without salt 135 1 potato 2.31
Potatoes, boiled, cooked without skin, flesh, without salt 156 1 cup 2.67
Potatoes, hashed brown, home-prepared 156 1 cup 3.78
Pumpkin, canned, without salt 245 1 cup 2.70
Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 245 1 cup 1.76
Radishes, raw 4.5 1 radish 0.03
Spinach, canned, drained solids 214 1 cup 6.01
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 5.35
Spinach, frozen, chopped or leaf, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 190 1 cup 5.97
Spinach, raw 30 1 cup 0.86
Squash, summer, all varieties, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 180 1 cup 1.64
Squash, summer, all varieties, raw 113 1 cup 1.33
Squash, winter, all varieties, cooked, baked, without salt 205 1 cup 1.82
Squash, winter, butternut, frozen, cooked, boiled, without salt 240 1 cup 2.95
Sweet potato, canned, syrup pack, drained solids 196 1 cup 2.51
Sweet potato, canned, vacuum pack 255 1 cup 4.21
Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt 146 1 potato 2.51
Sweet potato, cooked, boiled, without skin, without salt 156 1 potato 2.57
Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, stewed 255 1 cup 2.42
Tomatoes, red, ripe, canned, whole, regular pack 240 1 cup 2.21
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 180 1 cup 1.53
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 17 1 cherry tomato 0.14
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average 123 1 tomato 1.05
Tomatoes, sun-dried 2 1 piece 0.28
Tomatoes, sun-dried, packed in oil, drained 3 1 piece 0.15
Watermelon, raw 286 1 wedge 1.77

 

Other Vegetarian Foods High in Protein

Description Weight (grams) Measure Content per Measure (grams)
Buckwheat flour, whole-groat 120 1 cup 15.14
Buckwheat groats, roasted, cooked 168 1 cup 5.68
Bulgur, cooked 182 1 cup 5.61
Bulgur, dry 138 1 cup 11.70
Cornmeal, degermed, enriched, yellow 140 1 cup 17.21
Cornmeal, whole-grain, yellow 122 1 cup 9.91
Noodles, chinese, chow mein 45 1 cup 3.77
Oat bran, cooked 219 1 cup 7.03
Oat bran, raw 94 1 cup 16.26
Peanut butter, smooth style, with salt 16 1 tbsp 4.03
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 11
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked 125 195 5.03
Rice, white, long-grain, regular, cooked 158 195 4.25
Rice, white, long-grain, regular, raw, enriched 158 185 13.19
Spaghetti, cooked, enriched, without added salt 140 1 cup 6.68
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 140 1 cup 7.46
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked 140 1 cup 7.46
Tempeh 225 1 cup 31
Tofu, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride 81 1/4 block 6.51
Tofu, firm, prepared with calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride 120 1 piece 7.86
Wheat flour, white, all-purpose, enriched, bleached 125 1 cup 12.91
Veggie burger 1 patty 1 patty 5-24
Wheat flour, whole-grain 125 1 cup 16.44
Wheat flour, white, bread, enriched 125 137 16.41
Whole wheat bread 2 slices 2 slices 5
Robert Marchand (center) in 2012. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What an amazing 104-year-old cyclist might teach us about aging and elite sports

Robert Marchand (center) in 2012. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Robert Marchand (center) in 2012. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Watching athletes compete in the Summer Olympics can either be a tremendous boost of moral, inspiring you to push your limits, or a depressing sight. After reading about the 100-year-old-plus athletes studied by French researchers, however, I really don’t know how to feel about myself.

Romuald Lepers at the University of Burgundy, Dijon, and colleagues wanted to see how much age affects elite sports performance, and what better way than to go the very extreme? The identified all the best centenarian sportsmen in athletics, swimming, and cycling, then measured how their ability declined by using the current world record holders as benchmarks.

For instance, the 100-metre sprint record is held by Usain Bolt who clocked in at only 9.58 seconds. For the same event, but in the 100 to 104 age group, Donald Pellmann scored 26.99 seconds, marking a 64.5 percent decrease in performance.

Citing previous studies, Lepers says an athlete can expect to compete with the absolute world best until age 35 to 40. It’s downhill from there as performance decreases 10 to 15 percent per decade — that’s if you still stay in shape, of course.

However, one astonishing athlete seems to defy these odds. The 104-year-old Robert Marchand holds the world record for his age group for 1-hour track cycling, having completed the race in 26.93 kilometres or 50.6 per cent slower than Bradley Wiggins’s 54.53 km record. Scientists say Marchand’s performance has declined by only eight percent per decade.

Marchand may be an oddity, a human grafted with exceptionally good genes, if his training routine is not that different from his fellow centenarian athletes. Then again, performance in cycling should show lower age-related decline than running or swimming, the authors of the paper published in the journal Age and Aging add.

In time, we should learn more about this as the number of centenarian athletes is sure to increase with the rest of the 100-plus population. Previously, ZME Science reported the population of adults 85 and older is projected to increase 351 percent by 2050, while those older than 100 will increase 10-fold between 2010 and 2050.