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Google Olympics doodles imaginative, interactive

Christina DesMarais | Aug. 13, 2012
Google's doodles during these Olympics have ranged from tributes to athletes to collections of different sports. Some have been interactive. Others have harkened back to earlier times in history.

Aug. 7 (Interactive)

By tapping your front and back arrow keys and space bar you can make the hurdler in this interactive doodle run and jump. Google times your performance so you should tap furiously. If you knock over a hurdle your runner will slow down and if it takes him too long to reach the finish line he slumps his head in defeat. If you get him there quickly he throws his arms up in triumph. Visit the Google doodle gallery to compete.

Aug. 6

Way, way back in the day (think ancient Greece) the javelin was used in military combat because fighters could attack enemies without having to get close to them. Current day athletic javelins are lighter and, obviously, go for distance instead of penetration. During the London 2012 games gold medal winner Walcott Keshorn from Trinidad and Tobago threw his more than 8-foot javelin 84.53 meters -- that's nearly a football field. The women's gold medal winner, Spotakova Barbora from the Czech Republic, threw hers 69.55 meters.

Aug. 5

In this one, eight synchronized swimmers make up the first "O" in Google's name. Originally known as water ballet, people often refer to this hybrid between swimming, dance and gymnastics as "Synchro."

Aug. 4

While you might have thought Google would have used the "L" in its name for the actual pole vault apparatus in this doodle, the artist that crafted it decided to place the letters loftily in the background, overlooking the stadium in which a female vaulter launches herself into the air. Upon closer inspection, however, you'll see her pole suggests the lower part of the second "G."

Aug. 3

People have been competitively throwing heavy objects for years so it makes sense that Google would feature the sport of shot put in its Olympics homage. It's pretty incredible to see how far competitors can throw a metal ball -- weighing 16 pounds for men and nearly 9 pounds for women. The Polish gold medal winner for the men's shot put this year threw his 21.89 meters.

Aug. 2

Also known as ping-pong, table tennis has been around since the late 1800s when the British started playing it. Today, the Chinese dominate this fast-playing sport for two to four players who use paddles to knock back and forth a hollow ball.

Aug. 1

Google featured field hockey in this doodle. While it might not be a big deal in the United States, some variant of the game -- in which players use sticks to flick a ball into an opposing team's goal -- has been around for millennia.

July 31

Rings is a men's gymnastics sport that never ceases to amaze. The upper body strength it takes for these athletes to suspend, swing and hold themselves in mid-air is truly incredible so it's no wonder Google featured the sport in one of its doodles.

 

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