Most of the medals might as well say ‘Congratulations on wasting your life perfecting a worthless skill.’
Research conducted during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens showed that competitors in taekwondo, boxing and wrestling who wore red clothing or body protection had a higher chance of winning. The effect wasn’t large, but when the statistics were combined across all these sports it was undeniable – wearing red seemed to give a slightly better chance of winning gold. The effect has since been shown for other sports, such as football. […]
The researchers had a straightforward explanation for why wearing red makes a difference. Across the animal kingdom, red coloration is associated with male dominance, signaling aggression and danger to others. […] The researchers claimed that humans too are subject to this “red = dominance” effect, and so, for combat sports, the athlete wearing red had a psychological advantage. […]
Another research group analysed data from a different sport at the Athens Olympics, Judo, but they found that contestants who wore either white or blue had an advantage.