When Richard McKinney draws his bow and takes aim during the Seoul Olympics next week, he will have an unusual ally-science—in his quest for the gold. Even though he won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics and is a favorite to grab another medal in Seoul, the United States archer has, for four years, been tested. Measured, observed, and advised by two researchers at Arizona State University. "I think their work has helped me tremendously," McKinney says. "It's one reason I have stayed on top so long."

McKinney is one of many athletes who are the beneficiaries of a program the. U.S. Olympic Committee began four years ago. The idea was to use money from donations, corporate sponsors, and a surplus from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics to enlist the help of science in the pursuit of excellence in sport. Since 1985, the program has awarded 66 grants—totaling $664,487—to...

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