LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Innovation drives changes for Olympic athletes, viewers

February 19, 2018

By Dennis Virden, volunteer chairman of Vets4Energy Minnesota.

I am proud that 19 Minnesota athletes are representing Team USA in PyeongChang this year in ice hockey, cross country skiing, biathlon and curling. While stationed with the Combined Field Army in Uijeongbu, South Korea, I had the chance to see the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. I will always remember how nice and welcoming the people of the Republic of Korea were to those of us in the United States Army.

As a native Minnesotan, I have always enjoyed winter sports in large part because of the number of home state athletes that are involved. While I watch the images of PyeongChang, I am astounded by the sheer magnitude of this event.

Today, data collecting sensors are everywhere, from speed skating, to skiing to bobsledding.  Even our Minnesota hockey players will be wearing sensors to track their movements on the ice, and some curling teams even use sensors on their brooms during training to help them better position their brooms during competition.

Spectators in 1924 would wonder how 2018 cross country skiers and biathletes could stay warm in their Lycra racing suits and lightweight gloves and hats. And they would surely marvel at the biathletes’ guns with their special triggers and bolts that allow for quick and rapid firing -- vastly different from any sharpshooting device of the early 20th century... 

Read entire article at The Bemidji Pioneer.


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