The twisted physics of 5 Olympic sports

(LiveScience) With the 2012 Summer Olympics well under way in London, the eyes of the world are watching the extreme athleticism exhibited by the competitors. But in addition to sports skills, the Olympians competing this year can be considered practical physicists, as well.

After all, to win a swim race by fractions of a second, or spin around four times after bouncing off a vault, the ability to harness physics principles such as angular momentum and hydrodynamics is as important as muscle memory and strength.

Here are five Olympic sports where