At PyeongChang 2018, technology has been paving the way for a dynamic Olympic Games future.
Through innovative sensor systems, there are now continuous measurements from start to finish of events, meaning that athletes can gain an immediate understanding of where they gained or lost time, or where they won or lost points. From the live speed of a single alpine skier to the formations of an entire ice hockey team the information provided by Swiss time keeping expertise will add a new dimension to every performance. Additionally, this additional information will mean that people in the venues, as well as those at home watching on television, can have a far greater understanding of each sport as it happens. Everything in 2018 is about enhancing the viewer experience and providing live information that athletes can use to analyze their performance. This is the first time at the Olympic Games that such in-depth data will be made instantly available and it is almost certainly the beginning of a brand new era.
Here is what it means for each discipline:
Alpine Skiing: Measurements can now include acceleration and brake. But firstly, the athlete’s speed can be shown live as they start the run and can constantly be updated at various intermediate points. Alongside this, the speed can also be compared to the fastest athlete at the same point. At the end of the run, the systems can provide an in-depth run analysis that broadcasters may use to compare athletes with each other. The data are made available to athletes and their coaches for analysis. In addition to this, systems such as Stromotion and Simulcam will become invaluable for knowing exactly where a competitor won or lost time.
Ski Jumping / Nordic Combined: When jumping from great heights, everything must come together perfectly for the competitor. At PyeongChang 2018, valuable competition-relevant data will be provided for athletes and will allow spectators to zone right in on the finest details. "In-run" speed will be one of the primary factors that might interest viewers, and this can now be displayed for each jump. Then, as they hit the jump, the display can change to show the “take-off” speed measurement. “At 20m” of their jump, a mid-air speed can be shown, while also highlighting how much faster, similar or slower it is compared to their “take-off” speed. Finally, a “landing speed” will be instantly calculated and displayed. These measurements will all disappear seconds later, or when the distance measurement becomes available. A virtual line will also be displayed across the landing zone during live coverage to show the current distance to beat.
Bobsleigh: Sensors inside each bobsleigh will measure numerous factors including G forces, angles, trajectory and acceleration that will enable teams to understand where they won or lost time on the track. Primarily, as the team tears downhill, repeater antennas placed along the track will transmit the bob's live speed. On television, this data can be shown as a white line on a meter, with a green tip to indicate the highest speed achieved by the current sled. Once the sled starts to decelerate, the best speed achieved can be displayed.
If the sled beats the current “top speed” of the competition at any point in the course, this can be indicated in red. In bobsleigh, skeleton and luge, the Sled Path system provided can also help to compare the performances between different teams. The current sled will always be shown in red, while the path of the current leader will be shown in blue. With this method, it will be possible to see the different techniques of each team.
Freestyle and Snowboard – Halfpipe: The competition in the halfpipe is action packed, and there are many criteria to consider when scoring. From now on, viewers will be able to see, among other things, the participant's highest jump and average jump height at the end of each pass. In addition, the system can determine the number of rotations in each jump.
Source: Swatch Group