The Winter Olympic Games features master athletes who you may find throwing themselves into the air and spinning wildly above ice or snow. But one of the most interesting things about 2018 is the way that it’s pointed to the fascinating science in sport?

This year’s games are punctuated by an astounding athletic feat referred to at “the quad”: a stunning jump that includes 4 full revolutions.

Once this was considered physically impossible, and yet the 2018 Olympics saw successful Quads done by skiers, snowboarders, and skaters.

So what’s up? Should this cause us to question what we think of as “impossible” today?

Thankfully, WIRED Magazine has created a fabulous video to help us answer that question and appreciate the wonder of all this! Take a look:

Via: WIRED 1

Well, that definitely gives us a run at understanding the mastery required to pull off a quad in ice skates!

Now let’s see how this all works out for a snowboarder, Marcus Kleveland. At the age of 16, he landed the first ever “Quad Cork” in competition, and his attitude in the next video may just change the world if we all applied it to solve some of our worst problems.

It sounds like accomplishing this feat of athleticism involved a readiness to seize the moment when all the conditions were right and the courage to ignore previous notions about limitations.

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur 3

Now let me share a bit of a bonus with you: Just before I was wrapping up this article I found a fascinating short video that expands today’s topic, by diving deeper into the new generation of amazing science and artistry critical to “the quad” that has been made famous by figure skater Nathan Chen.

This is a great piece done by the NY Times youtube channel with wonderful graphics and analogies that we mere mortals can really appreciate! Enjoy.

Lovely inspiration there!

So maybe “impossible” is only “improbable” and there is always room for something new when we have variables we are able to change! Like the “hang time”, the speed of rotation, and strength.

I wonder if there is a metaphor there for our daily lives.

When faced with the impossible, instead of focusing on our limitations, what if we just doubled down on looking for things we can actually change?

Let’s close the loop on this line of thinking with a concept offered by Canadian professional snowboarder who points to the nature of progress in general:

“Everything has to progress. And there’s always going to be negativity with progression… eventually the impossible can be done while oozing with style.”  – Mark McMorris 5

Stay open, curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. Wired. “Why It’s Almost Impossible to Do a Quintuple Jump | WIRED.” YouTube. WIRED, 09 Feb. 2018. Web. 21 Feb. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7AjF4of300>.
  2. “Marcus Kleveland – BS Quad 18.” YouTube. Process Films, 05 Nov. 2015. Web. 21 Feb. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaA_nnfzrFE&feature=youtu.be>.
  3. “A Quote by Louis Pasteur.” Quote by Louis Pasteur. Good Reads, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2018. <https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9178-chance-favors-the-prepared-mind>.
  4. “Meet Nathan Chen, the Figure Skater Who Brought Athleticism to Artistry | NYT – Winter Olympics.” YouTube. The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2018. Web. 21 Feb. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jziRzx_rejw&t=62s>.
  5. “First Quad Landed in a Competition. | This Is: Marcus Kleveland E3.” YouTube. Red Bull, 24 Nov. 2017. Web. 21 Feb. 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8LYv-h21xg>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.