Technology is having a massive impact on sports across the world. Video assistant referring is making huge impacts in soccer across the top leagues and major competitions. Winter sports are going to be no different. Technology will help assist cross-country skiing and other winter sports in their performance and training.
Here are several ways winter sports will be affected by future technology.
1. There will be an increase in artificial snow
Since the late 1940s, there has been an increase in the amount of precipitation that has fallen as rain and not snow. With weather projections suggesting temperatures will continue to rise, resorts are going to struggle to remain open for the 100 days and nights necessary for a decent skiing season.
Therefore, there is going to be an increase in the need for, and the development of, artificial snow. Currently, most artificial snow needs cold temperatures, but technology is now becoming available that will allow for artificial snow to be created and used in temperatures of up to 90 degrees.
2. GPS will make training easier
Cross country skiing is all about getting from start to finish as quickly as possible. GPS is helping athletes to move faster in the right direction and assists in keeping times to improve training, recording training session speeds so competitors can assess the results.
GPS is also making it easier for athletes to test and improve health and fitness on the slopes. The fitter a skier’s body is, the longer and faster they can compete for. This is making competitors tougher and competitions much closer than they have been before.
GPS will also make the slopes safer when skiers get into trouble. Too often, skiers who have accidents have to wait far too long for help to arrive. Occasionally, much-needed help fails to arrive on time, and the worse happens. With GPS, the location of skiers in need of help can be uploaded and lives saved.
3. Technology will improve performance on the slopes
Although racing equipment has had limited impact on the performance of cross-country skiers, it does help to improve performance by about 12%. However, skiers can benefit from technology away from the slope that is able to assess upper body strength and endurance.
These lab tests can be used in competition training to improve these assets that can have a much greater impact on performance.
4. Competitors can be quicker
Technology is now improving skiing equipment, allowing competitors and those who enjoy the slopes to go faster. Research has found that ski-snow friction and drag can cost up approximately 30-15% of energy. The latest developments in technology reduce this, helping skiers go faster.
It could also mean that competitions are so close, course times are going to have to be recorded in the thousands of seconds rather than in seconds.
5. Stop scandals
Another major benefit for winter sport fans is that technology could prevent scandals. In recent years, there have been many scandals, including Austrian cross-country skier Max Hauke and four others, who was arrested on doping charges.
Technology should be able to help identify and prevent such bad behaviour in the future of sport. Intervention won’t be limited to drug charges – it could be related to cheating on courses and other illegal racing activities.