Posted by: ownthepodium | March 13, 2010

PARALYMPIC RESEARCH

One of the early decisions when establishing the Own the Podium Top Secret (TS) research program was to provide Paralympians’ with world-class equipment, technology, and training methods.

In general, the TS research was applied to both Paralympic and Olympic sports (aerodynamics, wax and ski testing, curling delivery, and human performance training).

Aerodynamic testing was performed at the National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa. Equipment, suits, and athlete body positions were studied to reduce aerodynamic friction which can account for 80% of the drag on our high speed winter athletes.

Ski bases, grinds, and waxes were tested with different, often wet snow conditions during the last three years in Whistler.

Our Paralympic and Olympic curlers improved their rock delivery through video analysis at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton, AB.

The University of Sherbrooke took a special interest in designing Para-alpine skis and Para-Nordic sleds, outriggers, sockets, and other devices. In the old days, for example, sit-ski athletes often were strapped into tractor-seat-like devices, sitting on a motorcycle piston that was attached to a single ski. Such arrangements did not allow for weight or length differences in athletes, or the nature of the event (downhill or slalom, for example). TS research has greatly resolved these issues.

The following are some of the projects undertaken specifically for Paralympians:

  • Para-Alpine and Para-Nordic equipment developed with U. of Sherbrooke -$550,000
  • Wind tunnel testing at the NRC for Para-Alpine and Para-Nordic skiers – $77,000
  • Rock delivery training at the Saville Centre in Edmonton for wheel chair curling  -$11,000
  • Sledge hockey equipment development at U. of Calgary – $80,000
  • Ski/wax testing with ski technicians for snow sports – $56,000
  • U. of British Columbia ski base development used for Para-Nordic team – $41,000.
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