Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Watching fringe Olympic sports often creates more questions than it answers.Wait, how do synchronised swimmers keep their makeup on in the pool?
Why do divers always go in the hot tub after competing?
What is that bright-pink tape doing on that volleyball player’s butt?
We pulled out 12 of these Olympics curiosities, and went searching for answers.
Some of them have really cool and scientific explanations, but others have almost comically simple answers.
How many of these did you know?
SHORT ANSWER: It's warm and feels good.
It was curious to see the divers, without fail, dip into the hot tub after competing in London. Since every single diver did it, we assumed there was some -- maybe it un-tenses their muscles, or something technical like that.
But as it turns out, it's just a way to relax and keep warm, according to Canadian diving coach Mitch Geller.
SHORT ANSWER: To make sure their goggles don't fall off, and to reduce drag.
US swim coach Dave Salo explained it to Yahoo!, 'The outer silicone cap better maintains the shape and does not wrinkle as much, thereby causing less drag.'
SHORT ANSWER: It protects muscles and reduces pain ... maybe.
The stuff is called 'Kiniseo tape,' and even though many athletes swear by it, the effects are thought to be more psychological than physical.
SHORT ANSWER: Because the way they hit the water really hurts their wrists.
10m platform divers try to jump from a height of three stories and create almost zero splash.
The way they create zero splash is by hitting the water with the palms of their hands -- which breaks the water tension and creates a little pocket where the diver's body can enter the pool without making a splash.
But hitting the water with your palms over and over again absolutely kills your wrists, hence the heavy tape.
SHORT ANSWER: The lights are bright, and they want to keep sand out of their eyes.
I had an unfortunate rookie experience and played a night match without a pair of sunglasses on. The glare from the overhead lighting was a constant battle, not to mention irritating and distracting. Mid-match, I dove for a ball and managed to scoop sand into both of my eyes. A routine play turned into a 15-minute medical timeout. Both of my eyes had to be flushed to remove the sand.
SHORT ANSWER: To conserve energy.
In track cycling, the person in first place expends way more energy than the person in second place. This is because the person is second place faces no wind resistance (since they're riding right behind the 1st-place rider).
If they started sprinting right away, they'd burn themselves out by trying to ride too long against too much wind resistance. So instead they ride slow, and then make one quick sprint.
SHORT ANSWER: Because their official names are different from their colloquial names.
For example, North Korea didn't enter under 'N' because it's officially called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The order of the parade of nations is alphabetical based on the language of the host country (PDF). When it's in non-English countries, the parade seems even more out of order to US audiences.
SHORT ANSWER: So there isn't a never-ending stream of appeals.
Yahoo's Maggie Hendricks tweeted, 'The money is there to make sure teams don't make capricious challenges. ... A smart national governing body sends their team with an envelope of cash for this very reason,'
But it's still pretty strange to see coaches handing judges money (like Japan did in gymnastics).
SHORT ANSWER: Because the game stops so much.
There is similar interaction in most every sport -- especially those that require sustained coordination and mutual effort -- whenever play stops. Perhaps it is more apparent in volleyball because play stops after each point.
SHORT ANSWER: It's not universal or popular enough.
The IOC considers Olympic sports based on criteria that deals with how popular and universal a sport is (PDF). They take in to account things like number of affiliated national federations, spectator attendance, media interest, the existence and vibrancy of an international federation, and more.
In addition, no motor sports can be allowed in the games.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.