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Figure $$\PageIndex{1}$$: A sprinter exerts her maximum power to do as much work on herself as possible in the short time that her foot is in contact with the ground. This adds to her kinetic energy, preventing her from slowing down during the race. Pushing back hard on the track generates a reaction force that propels the sprinter forward to win at the finish. (credit: modification of work by Marie-Lan Nguyen)