Navigation Links
Exploring the limits: Understanding the challenges facing Winter Olympic champions

As the world turns its sporting gaze towards Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, The Physiological Society journal Experimental Physiology marks the occasion with a special issue exploring the biological and environmental challenges elite winter athletes must overcome to win gold.

"When most people think about these games we conjure up glorious images of snow and high mountains", said co-editor Mike White from the University of Birmingham, "but when Physiologists think of cold and altitude most immediately think of environmental challenges including hypothermia and hypoxia."

To explore these challenges the editors avoided the standard, resisted the stereotypical and rejected dated physiological methods to create an innovative and integrative new approach to study and debate the limitations to performance in elite winter sport.

The Biathlon, an event combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, serves as an ideal example for physiologists. For Biathletes high aerobic capacity and motor functions are vital to success while performance limitations include the ability of the respiratory system at high-altitude and in cold environmental conditions.

"When skiing, a fall is always possible," said author Richard Ferguson from Loughborough University. "The question is whether or not the fall was preventable, and if it resulted from muscle fatigue or failure to execute a motor programme correctly the answer is yes."

The Biathlon also involves shooting, with a miss incurring a penalty lap of the circuit which has a strong influence on the race result.

"When looking at shooting, Martin Lakie's expertise on tremor and John Cootes' understanding of heart rate recovery come to the fore" said co-editor Stuart Egginton from the University of Birmingham. "The mechanical correlates of the heart beat and pulse wave propagation though the arm have a clear impact on accurate sighting of the target. Whether errors can be avoided by having a rapid heart rate recovery and a longer interpulse interval in which to shoot is debated here."

The papers also reveal how the physiology of a medal winning performance in many winter sports is still far from fully understood. Writing in the preface to this special issue, world renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes said: "While it is surprisingly to me how much we already know, these papers also identify where our knowledge is inadequate to allow a full mechanistic explanation. It is particularly gratifying to see how information from different disciplines is being harnessed to this end."


Contact: Ben Norman

Related medicine news :

1. Online Think Tank Big Think Launches New Multimedia Web Series Exploring Some of the Most Pressing Science and Medical Issues of our Time
2. Exploring Newly Found Freedom with the GaitAid for Parkinson's Disease
3. BioInformatics, LLC New Report - Exploring the Epigenetics Market: Opportunities for Product Placement and Innovations
4. Anchor Capital Calls on BioScrip Board to Pursue Cost Reductions While Exploring Strategic Sale to Unlock Shareholder Value
5. Exploring the frontiers of retrovirology
6. Biopure Exploring Strategic Options
7. Exploring new pathways to language
8. Exploring Genetic Link Between Migraines, Cardiovascular Trouble
9. Scientists exploring new compounds to target muscular dystrophy
10. Exploring the Frontiers of Neuroscience
11. Exploring the Aaah ... $1 Million Grant Advances Aquatic Health Research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which ... into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the ... show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men and ... nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment ... advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things ... for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute today announced ... form selection in early phase drug development. The first of these is to ... the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, at Milton Park, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... a new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly ... options. These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. --> Research and ... of the "Self Administration of High Viscosity ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ... User (Hospital, Pharmaceutical Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Brain ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: