The use of technology improves training techniques and athletes’ equipment athletes to break records
The role of technology in sport becomes more and more important. The Winter Olympics are no exception: at PyeongChang 2018 we will see new developments that will allow athletes to compete better and more safely.
Aerodynamics, a key element
In speed sports, one of the key factors that play is aerodynamics. A split second can make that difference between winning silver or gold, so all the elements are studied to the smallest detail.
In ‘bobsleigh’ for instance, a sport in which four athletes glide down at full speed with a sled, both the helmet and the vehicle undergo testing in wind tunnels.
Experiments are carried out in these facilities to simulate descents that allow for the verification of which design offers less resistance and allows to reach more speed.
In some of the ski events participants reach speeds of over 80,7 mph (130km/h).
A fall at this speed is very dangerous and can be fatal.
This year, skiers will be more protected than ever, with lighter and stronger helmets than in previous competitions. What’s more, many skiers will be wearing an airbag-vest for the first time.
This suit is similar to that worn by MotoGP riders and inflates to cushion the blow when the sensors detect that the athlete is losing control
Another sport in which technology is starting to stand out is speed skating. This sport consists of skaters whipping around a 400-metre oval track as fast as possible.
The technique is decisive: good position and a correct execution of each movement are the key to gain speed.
The Dutch team has developed together with Samsung a smart suit with sensors that detect the athlete’s position and later transmits it to the Coach’s device.
If the trainer considers that the position is not good, he sends a signal to the athlete, who receives it through the vibration on a bracelet he is wearing.
This technology has yet not been approved and cannot be used during the competition, but the suit has helped improve Dutch speed skaters’ technique when training.
Tech for the audience
Not only will participants benefit from the technological innovations in PyeongChang Games. The software company Intel will rebroadcast over 30 events in virtual reality.
Audience will be able to see competitions such as figure skating, alpine skiing and curling from their homes, but at the same time feel they’re on the track together with their idols in South Korea.
Game attendees can also enjoy 5G connection. This technology will allow them to download content from the internet faster and stay more connected than ever.