The Heat is on

It’s that time again, as every four years we’re glued to the TV to watch the Olympics. I always loved it, especially the track and field events. But one word that I’ve always found a little strange is: heat. As in, a qualifying race for a final. Where does it come from?

It seems that the word was first recorded with this meaning in the 17th century, then being used to refer to a run to prepare a horse for a race. Or warm it up, if you will.

For a lot of the more elite athletes, it pretty much has the same meaning: to warm up, generate some heat, for the final.

I hope you’re all enjoying the Olympics: I’ll be spending most of time trying to figure out the name of the exact shade of green the diving pool has turned.