Stories tagged ski jumping

Feb
17
2010

The skinny on ski jumping: New regulations are in place in international ski jumping competition to discourage eating disorders among competitors. Lighter is better in the sport, but officials don't want competitors to get unhealthily too light.
The skinny on ski jumping: New regulations are in place in international ski jumping competition to discourage eating disorders among competitors. Lighter is better in the sport, but officials don't want competitors to get unhealthily too light.Courtesy Morgan Goodwin
Do you feel like me – that the Winter Olympics coverage is hours of commercials interrupted by occasional bursts of winter sports activities? Well, rather than watch those same commercials for the 123rd time, here are some interesting links that can add some scientific understanding to the amazing things we occasionally get to see during the TV coverage. Click on these links to fill in the time wasted on all of those commercials. And then you can thank me after the games are done.

Just how dangerous are winter sports anyway? We got a strong sense of the dangers involved just before the games started when a German luge racer was killed from injuries suffered in a training run wipe-out. This story takes an analytical look at how dangerous ice and snow sports really are. And here's a story on why doctors strongly urge you to wear a helmet when snowboarding or skiing, even if it's just a leisurely run on your local ski hill.

Ski jumpers aren't being accused of using steroids....it's just the opposite. New regulations are in place to prevent excessive weight loss, including linking ski length to body mass index among competitors. Find out more here.

Will a ton of new world records be set on the speed skating rink? New technologies in racing suit designs – "(suits) more aerodynamic than human skin" – will be used in this Olympics. It's good to know that there is now a disincentive to naked speed skating in the games.

Why do they have that funky blue paint on the ski and snowboard courses? Find out more here.

Over the weekend, ARTiFactor posted a number of NBC's video reports on scientific aspects of specific sports. You can learn more here about:
Curling science
Skate technology
Ski technology
Snowboarding physics
Figure skating physics
Bobsled physics
Short-track speed skating physics

Feb
14
2006

They fly through the air with the greatest of ease....and a bunch of science.


Ski jumper: Photo courtesy Morgan Goodwin, Calgary Canada.

When you're watching the ski jumpers fly off the huge hills at Torino during the Winter Olympics, you're not just seeing bravery and athleticism on display. You're also seeing some science.

While the forces of gravity eventually win out, the aerodynamics of lift play a big role in the outcome of the event. The way the jumpers position their skis and their bodies has will affect the air flows around them. The best jumpers will have mastered aerodynamics along with their physical training to get on to the medal stand.

The jumpers rely on scientific principles developed hundreds of years ago. The first is Isaac Newton's law that any action causes an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of ski jumping, the jumper's body and skis will push some air down. The reaction from that is that some air will actually then push the skier up.

The second scientific law in play is Daniel Bernouli's discovery that air pressure drops as air moves faster. Ski jumpers who know that will position their bodies so the air above them moves faster. The slower air beneath them will have more pressure, giving the skier another dimension of lift.

Another big change in ski jumping came in 1985 with the creation of the "V" position — holding their skies wide apart in front of them and crossed behind them. While the "V" was initially laughed at, jumpers discovered that it gave them a lot more distance. Jumpers were able to add up to 100 meters more distance to their jump with the change.