Month: February 2014

Ottobock Workshops at Sochi & Flame Lighting Ceremony in Stoke Mandeville

There is a great article on about the scale of the workshop program Ottobock have setup in Sochi 2014 to help maintain and repair athletes equipment during the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi which are due to begin next week.

Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony

In Stoke Mandeville tomorrow (1st March) there will be a ceremony to light the first ever Paralympic Heritage Flame, to celebrate the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games . The event will be broadcast live on Channel 4 at 18:30. Stoke Mandeville is of course famous as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. It was in 1948 that Sir Ludwig Guttmann, a German spinal injuries doctor, created the Stoke Mandeville Games, an event that was the forerunner for the Paralympic Games that were first held in Rome, Italy, in 1960.

The Sit Ski

The sit-ski is a device for athletes with more severe lower limb impairments (spinal cord injuries or double amputations) designed to enable wheelchair users to take part in skiing as both a leisure and competitive activity. Sit-skiing is used to great effect by charities such as Back-Up to assist wheelchair users building their fitness and confidence levels and to encourage a greater level of independence.

A sit-ski consists of a moulded seat mounted on a metal frame with a suspension system beneath the seat to maximise ski-snow contact. Sit-skis can be mounted on a single ski (called a mono-ski) or on two skis (a dual-ski).

Sochi 2014 – Winter Paralympic Games

As the Winter Olympic Games came to a close yesterday it was a chance to reflect on what an event it has been. there have been highs, Jenny Jones bronze medal in the Snowboard Slopestyle,  Lizzy Yernold’s gold in the skeleton bob. There have been lows, Elise Christie penalised out of the medals in the short track speed skating. There have been thrills, the GB men’s and women’s teams picking up silver and bronze in the curling. And there have been spills, Rowan Cheshire suffering concussion in a training crash, preventing her from competing.

GB Winter sports is set to receive a funding boost from UK Sport as a result of Team GB’s record equaling performance over the last two weeks, this coincides with a popularity boost in Winter sports fueled by the games.

Exhibition Open at Imperial College Main Entrance

Today is the first day of 3 day exhibition showcasing the work of this years Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) and Global Innovation Design (GID) students. As part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge the students undertake an intensive project development, having only 6 weeks to research, propose and produce a concept and prototype based around a key theme.

The Brief for this years challenge was to create an innovative product or sport associated with the Winter Paralympic Games and within one of four themes:

  • Sport Engagement
  • Extreme Sport
  • Sports Protection
  • Future Sport

There are 13 projects in total including among others:

  • a flexible support system for the spine which immobilises the back after sever injury
  • a suit that enables the user to slide on snow
  • a concept sport where the participants row on ice
  • a system to enable hemiplegic athletes to partake in speed skating
  • a prosthetic limb for below knee amputee ski jumpers

The exhibition will run this week until Friday 14th February in the Main Entrance of Imperial College on Exhibition Road South Kensington.

Technological Innovation at the Winter Olympics

A bit of fun for Friday, here’s a nice little animation, as part of the Science of Sochi series on the BBC Sport website, explaining the role technological innovations play in the Winter Olympics.

There are also animations on the body’s performance at extreme conditions, and the development of ski designs for different events.

Team GB Snowboarders Jenny Jones and Aimee Fuller are into the Semi-Finals of the Slopestyle event having just missed out on qualifying for the Finals directly.

Coverage of the opening ceremony begins at 3pm.

Action commences in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics

While we are bracing ourselves for another onslaught of wind and rain, Team GB’s Winter Olympic hopefuls in the sub-tropical climate of Sochi are gearing up for action as the first events have begun today.

First news from Sochi is that GB’s Jamie Nicholls has qualified for the Slopestyle (snowboarding) finals on Saturday and his team mate Billy Morgan has a second chance to make the finals through the semi-finals on Saturday.

Keeping the winter sports theme, check out this great cartoon from George Washington University. It’s a really nice way of demonstrating the great work that goes on within the Bioengineering Sector and trying to attract the next generation of young Bioengineers.