The Olympics without Fans Is Harming Athletes’ Performance

The Olympics without Fans Is Harming Athletes’ Performance

But in its 125-year history, fans have always remained in attendance—that is, until this year’s Tokyo Olympics. From the perspective of sports psychologists, an Olympics without fans is a real-life science experiment that is helping researchers and clinicians to tease apart the true impact of a crowd of fans on its players—and on spectators at home. The strange circumstances under which the games are held may place unanticipated pressure on some athletes. In preparation for the Tokyo Games, athletes may have practiced with fake crowd noises before the spectator ban was announced, he says. The acoustics of a field, court or stadium without fans has unintended consequences, for players and viewers both.

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