Going for gold: load cells and Tokyo Olympics sports

Published On: July 15 2021

After being delayed for a whole year, and with no spectators due to COVID restrictions, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will finally officially start on Friday 23 July 2021.

It’s been a long wait for the athletes needing to keep themselves in prime physical condition despite a year of lockdowns, disrupted training and cancelled competitions.

Over the years we’ve detailed how load cells have played their part in training, monitoring and improving sporting performances across the entire spectrum of Olympic sports, both summer and winter.

So, here’s a list of the Olympic sports at Tokyo 2020 that we’ve written about. Click for more details of how load cells have played their part!


One of our social media team is a keen archer, so that’s why we have her inside views on our archery and load cells blog! She’ll be cheering on the ladies Olympic recurve TeamGB archers, all of whom she has competed against at the National Indoor Champs, and says are absolutely lovely people! (OK, she finished 67 places behind them, but it’s the taking part…) So, go new team members Sarah Bettles and Bryony Pitman, and the highly experienced Naomi Folkard.

Our Blog: Recurve, compound and draw weights: load cells in archery bow testing


Athletics (track races and the marathon)

Sir Mo may not have qualified this year, but good luck to new dad Chris Thompson (aged 39) who made the team back in April. We wrote a couple of articles about the development of running shoes using load cells.

Our Blog: Marathon testing: load cells and running shoe technology



A bit of a stretch we know (pun intended!), but here’s how one company staged a pop performance in between basketball games.

Our Blog: Tanks, wind and basketball: our May load cells news roundup



How can you measure the strength of your punch? A DIY digital weight scale and force gauge using the ever-popular Arduino.

See: Learn how to build a digital weight scale and force gauge with HX711 load cell module and Arduino


Cycling – BMX Freestyle, BMX Racing, Mountain Bike, Road, Track

Cycling legend Chris Boardman partnered with Boardman Bikes (now owned by Halfords) to build the UK’s first cycle-specific wind tunnel complete with data acquisition systems.

Our Blog: Blowin’ in the wind: load cells, cycles and renewable energy



We’ve done several articles on the use of load cells in equine research – here’s our favourite.

Our Blog: Best hoof forward: load cells and equine research



After the disappointment of the Euros, Team GB could still shine at the Olympics…

Our Blog: Back to work: the UK’s top football players and load cells



Golf is like Marmite – you either love it or consider it a good walk ruined! Load cells are playing their part in helping golfers perfect their swing.

Our Blog: Tracking your COG: how load cells help golfers improve their swing



How load cells are used in the analysis of punch and palm strikes in martial arts. Not one of ours, but fascinating anyway!

See: The Effects of Height and Distance on the Force Production and Acceleration in Martial Arts Strikes



There are a few Olympic sports we usually do well at, and rowing is one of them. Check out how load cells play their part in monitoring oar patterns.

Our Blog: The Social Season for load cells



Load cells enable sailors to monitor the tension of the rigging, which they can then tune according to the sailing conditions.

Our Blog: Getting social with load cells – the Season continues


Sport Climbing

If hanging off a rock by your fingertips is your kind of sport, this blog is for you! A team from Politecnico Di Torino in Italy developed MACLoC or “Multi-­Axis Climbing Load Cells” for performance analysis in sport climbing. Check out the video at:

Our Blog: Our top load cell sports stories of 2018



A team from the University of Tsukuba in Japan have developed a method of accurately measuring drag for swimmers doing front crawl, using load cells.

Our Blog: Load cells work swimmingly in calculating drag



Our article from 2017 on the importance of maintaining a firm footing during a tennis match.

Our Blog: Tennis Player-Surface Interaction: Load Cells Measure the Strain


Used load cells in an Olympic sport we’ve not listed?

We’d love to hear about it. Drop us an email and tell us your story!