Characteristics of the early flight phase in the Olympic ski jumping competition

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Early flight phase (approximately 40 m) of the athletes participating in the final round of the individual large hill ski jumping competition in Salt Lake City Olympics was filmed with two high-speed pan & tilt video cameras. The results showed that jumpers' steady flight position was almost completed within 0.5s. The most significant correlation with the length of the jump was found in the angle between the skis and body (r=.714, p.001 at 1.1s after the take-off). This particular phase seemed to be important because the ski angle of attack was also related to the jumping distance at the same phase. Although the more upright ski position relative to flight path resulted in longer jumping distance, the winner of the competition had significantly lower ski position as compared to the other good jumpers. This may be due to the high altitude (>2000 m) of the ski jumping stadium in this competition. Because of the low air density, the aerodynamic forces were also low and this probably caused less skillful jumpers to lean too much forward at this phase. Maintenance of speed seemed to be emphasized in this particular competition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2157-63
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2005

ID: 44416

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