2020 saw technology pushed to the forefront, with social gathering curtailed and video calls becoming the norm.
With live sport impossible for months, esports and archive footage came to the fore in order to entertain fans, and when live action did finally return organisers had to deal with the impact of having no fans in attendance.
Here are the top five most-read articles in our Cutting Edge Sport section this year.
Before lockdown, Chelsea Women teamed up with the app FitrWoman in a bid to boost performance. The team confirmed it was tailoring its training schedules to its players' menstrual cycles in an effort to take into account the changes which occur during menstruation, while harnessing the power of the cycle through changes in nutrition.
As sport prepared to return behind closed doors, speculation about how technology might fill the gap left by a lack of fans started to rumble. While many fans were initially sceptical, enhanced crowd noises became a welcome addition to coverage. The use of augmented reality to bring fans back into stadiums virtually, however, didn’t catch on.
A collaboration between adidas, Google and EA SPORTS saw a new connected football boot launch to gamify the sport and give grassroots players the chance to collect their own stats. A small insert added to the insole of the boot allows players to track distance covered, top speed, and shot power, as well as earning points they can use on EA SPORTS’ FIFA game series.
With sustainability at the front of mind in sport, Chelsea’s new kit - made by Nike - was unveiled with an emphasis on the use of fibres made from recycled plastic bottles. Throughout 2020, manufacturers have turned to recycled materials to build products in an attempt to create more sustainable fabrics for sport.
The most-read article in our Cutting Edge Sport section in 2020 saw British Cycling team up with Zwift to launch a virtual series. Throughout the year, the online cycling platform has seen an increase in users throughout lockdown, while it also served as the platform for a virtual Tour de France as well as other races featuring top names from the world of professional cycling.