Injury prevention in Super-G alpine ski racing through course design
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonScientific Reports. 2021, 11(2021), Artikkel 3637. 10.1038/s41598-021-83133-z
In Super-G alpine ski racing mean speed is nearly as high as in Downhill. Hence, the energy dissipated in typical impact accidents is similar. However, unlike Downhill, on Super-G courses no training runs are performed. Accordingly, speed control through course design is a challenging but important task to ensure safety in Super-G. In four male World Cup alpine Super-G races, terrain shape, course setting and the mechanics of a high-level athlete skiing the course were measured with differential global navigation satellite systems (dGNSS). The effects of course setting on skier mechanics were analysed using a linear mixed effects model. To reduce speed by 0.5 m/s throughout a turn, the gate offset needs to be increased by + 51%. This change simultaneously leads to a decrease in minimal turn radius (− 19%), an increase in impulse (+ 27%) and an increase in maximal ground reaction force (+ 6%). In contrast, the same reduction in speed can also be achieved by a − 13% change in vertical gate distance, which also leads to a small reduction in minimal turn radius (− 4%) impulse (− 2%), and no change in maximal ground reaction force; i.e. fewer adverse side effects in terms of safety. It appears that shortening the vertical gate distance is a better and safer way to reduce speed in Super-G than increasing the gate offset.
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