U.S. Olympic Training Center: Top Technology For Elite Athletes
“In Olympic and Paralympic competition, the difference between 1st and 4th place is often less than one percent,” says Aron McGuire, Director of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center (CSOTC). The facility provides world-class nutritional, physiological, psychological, and technological support for the approximately 20,000 Olympic hopefuls that come through Colorado Springs each year.
Technology is woven through the center and plays a major role in providing athletes, coaches and sports scientists with near-real-time feedback to optimize performance, stay healthy, and push harder for the gold.
- Force plates in the sprint track measure foot contact time and the force of each step taken.
- Wearable wrist and ankle bands provide divers and gymnasts with 3D renderings of their in-air motion and twists.
- Connected sensors send real-time riding stats to a heads-up display for cyclists.
- For events where heat levels are an issue, such as long-distance running, thermometers shaped like multivitamins are swallowed to measure athletes’ core temperatures.
- Boxers use sensors to track striking force, number of punches, and overall force applied in a workout.
- An anti-gravity treadmill enables low-impact cardio workouts at up to 20 percent of an athlete’s body weight.
- The High Altitude Training Center (HATC) room can replicate the environmental conditions of nearly any city, allowing athletes to begin acclimating to the elevation, temperature, and humidity levels they will experience at each host city.
- For swimmers, robotic camera systems capture six simultaneous angles, and video review booths allow athletes, coaches and scientists to take an up-close look at technique.
From all of us on this year’s #COTechTour, we wish success to the 48 Olympians who trained at the CSOTC and to the entire 2016 US Olympic team in Rio — go for the gold!