Winter Olympics 2018 happening in South Korea; Athletes uses VR for training
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea this month. To our surprise, the US women’s ski team uses virtual reality (VR) for the upcoming Olympics. Instead of being 5,500 miles away in PyeongChang, there’s this VR demo room at the Menlo Park, California, offices of VR startup STRIVR.
Laurenne Ross, a US alpine skier regularly trains using VR. It’s been almost a year since Ross wasn’t in the game. It was due to her injuries that tore her ACL and meniscus in her right knee. 18 months have passed, the athlete wasn’t in the limelight. But she had undergone an amusingly techy training that includes hundreds of VR sessions. After that, she made it back to the slopes in nine months.
With the use of technology, the US alpine ski team is having an edge in the advancement of training. Virtual reality or VR lets you transport to a digital world through a special kind of headset. Using a VR, skiers can react to different conditions and deviously designed Olympic courses at 80 miles per hour.
“They hopefully will be much more prepared, and not so distracted and caught up in the moment,” said Brian Meek, STRIVR’s chief technology officer. “Playing sports is intense. We replicate the intensity.”
Ross said VR keeps you mentally sharp and focused. She said in an email, “It’s so easy to forget some of the tiny details about preparing for a race that can really make a difference. VR has been a big part of keeping me focused and ready to return.”
The US ski team is the first ever Olympic squad in the world that uses VR as part of their training. Now, more than 20 members of the ski team now use VR that includes stars Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin.