Energy industry innovation gives edge to Olympians

February 13, 2018

The Winter Olympics are here, and I’d like to congratulate our three Montana athletes who will compete and represent our state and nation, as well as many other athletes with Montana connections who will be competing. The Olympics represents a unique opportunity for all nations to come together.

Many aspects of Olympic-level competition have taken remarkable strides since the first Winter Olympics in 1924; and it is astounding to see the technology and innovation that have advanced these sports.

Our three Olympians — Darian Stevens from Missoula, Maggie Voisin from Whitefish and Bradley Wilson from Butte — will don multi-directional impact protection helmets, newly designed to resist rotation during impact.

We can also be proud of a Montana State University Nordic Ski Team member Johanna Taliharm, a native of Estonia who will be skiing for her native land. I wouldn’t be surprised if her apparel and gear are enhanced by energy industry innovations as well.

There are innovations in many Olympic sports:

• Innovations from sports apparel manufacturer Under Armor and U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin have produced sleek, aerodynamic uniforms which will be worn by U.S. speed skaters.

• Samsung introduced its "SmartSuit" to help speed skaters train. The Smart Suit is outfitted with data-recording sensors to help athletes and coaches analyze and improve the skater’s movement and posture.

• Technological advances in downhill skiing include the already mentioned "Giro Avance" multi-directional impact protection helmet — which also suffers less drag from brushes with slalom gates.

• Safety technology innovations with airbag-equipped vests for downhill skiers feature sensors that identify racers’ movements to signal loss of control, and to inflate prior to impact.

• The "Omega Bobsled Data Collector" — a three-dimensional acceleration sensor attached to the front of bobsleds designed by a Swiss watchmaker. This little piece of innovative genius assists...

Read entire article at The Missoulian.


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