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Aug 10, 2012

The Olympics Uses Special Sand That Doesn’t Stick to Beach Volleyball Players—Could They Ever Use Synthetic Sand?

Any beach goer knows that spending time in the sand means spending infinitely more time trying to scrub sand off your body. Sand just sticks everywhere. But why doesn't it stick to Olympic volleyball players? It's because the Olympics always use special, highly regulated sand.

Yep, according to Reuters, the sand used for Olympic beach volleyball is strictly regulated—"no stones or shells, not too coarse nor too compact, not too fine so it does not stick to players' bodies." If it sounds like the most amazing sand in the world, it probably is.

Sand finding for the Olympics is a science, guys. Back in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics, the sand was imported from China's Hawaii (Hainan, China) and hosed and raked regularly to keep it from getting packed too densely. But what about if they used real science to develop synthetic sand? According to the great internet resource:
The most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica, usually in the form of quartz. The second most common form of sand is calcium carbonate, for example aragonite, which has mostly been created, over the past half billion years, by various forms of life like coral and shellfish.

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3 comments:

YeamieWaffles said...

I think what they're doing right now works well enough but this is still a pretty good idea, they probably have some kind of ruling about how things must be natural though.

Adam said...

Never knew that

Al Penwasser said...

I was watching womens beach volleyball for the sheer artistry and impressive athleticism of the players. Okay, and bikinis. I was wondering how in the world they didn't look like sugar cookies. THE VERY NEXT day I read that they use special sand which doesn't stick. Wow. Now watch it give all the participants cancer in 30 years. They probably won't be wearing bikinis, though.