How a wrist guard might have saved Katie Ormerod’s wrist in Pyeongchang

The winter Olympics haven’t even started and we already have injuries in the British camp. Britain’s medal hope, freestyle snowboarder Katie Ormerod, has fractured her wrist during training in Pyeongchang. Despite this setback she is still planning on competing in the slopestyle qualification on Sunday — less than a year after she fractured her L3 vertebra at […]

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE WOODEN ICE HOCKEY STICK?

Technology has had a profound impact on the sporting world and it is the reason for the sudden disappearance of the wooden ice hockey stick. Over the last decade, there have been large advances in the technology of the ice hockey stick. Material, manufacturing and structural advances in composites have allowed manufacturers to create an ice […]

Snurfing! What will be the next big thing in snow sports?

In 1965 American Sherman Poppen fastened two skis together and called it “snurfing”. But why has nobody heard of snurfing? Probably because most people now know it as snowboarding. Why did it take so long for snurfing to develop into one of the most popular snow sports of the 21st century? There is still some […]

The need for speed: the downhill toboggan world record

Sometimes you get a phone call and someone asks you for help: they get you on a good day, at a positive moment and you think “yeah, why not? That sounds like fun”.  Later, you realise you’re committed to helping to break a world record — the fastest speed for a gravity powered sled — and people […]

A year to go: engineering sport for London 2012

The common perception of engineering and sport is that of shiny new bikes, aerodynamic helmets and sleek bobsleds.  I often get asked, “isn’t it just the best equipment that wins now, rather than the athlete?”  The answer – as far as I’m concerned – is obviously “no” and I’ve spent my working life in the […]

No mountains, turn to freestyle!

Introduction Alpine skiing events are dominated by countries who have the luxury of snow capped mountains, for obvious reasons. Figure 1 shows that 85% of Alpine skiing medals at the Olympics have been won by only 7 countries. The mountainous countries appear to have a monopoly on the medals and the obvious question is; can countries without established ski […]