The skiers and snowboarders on Team USA for the 2018 Winter Olympics are using virtual reality (VR) to improve their training regimens as the games grow closer. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard team and STRIVR, a VR training startup, have been working together for the past two years to bring a VR training platform to World Cup and Olympic athletes.
Using STRIVR’s tech, the athletes take 360-degree videos of courses, which they usually only get one chance to ski before the race. They can then practice on the course as many times as they wish using the VR platform, allowing them to better familiarize themselves with it. The platform also allows coaches to add obstacles like fog or bright sunlight and monitors the athlete’s head position, so they can make sure they're focusing in the right place.
“VR helps our athletes visualize the courses they will race on in a virtual environment, which is both helpful in terms of familiarizing themselves with the different race courses you find at each venue, and it’s a safer way to train than skiing ...” High Performance Director Troy Taylor told Mashable. “It is another tool we have in the locker to help our athletes, and every little bit counts.”