Kinematic Analysis of Skating Technique of Olympic Skiers in the Men's 50-km Race

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A project involving 3-D analysis of skiing technique during the 1992 Olympic Winter Games (Albertville, France) was carried out. This part of the project focused on the open field skating technique of the male skiers of the 50-km race. Three synchronized, high-speed video cameras were used to record the motion of all racers as they passed a site on flat terrain. Analysis was limited to those using the open field technique and whose skating cycle fit within the boundaries of the field being analyzed (n = 17). Several kinematic variables were determined: cycle velocity, cycle length, and cycle rate. Several significant correlations (p < .05) were observed related to performance: cycle velocity was positively related to cycle length (r = .76) but not cycle rate; cycle velocity and cycle length were positively related to strong side knee extension (r = .48 and r = .51, respectively). Thus, faster skiers on flat terrain tended to ski with longer cycle lengths, which perhaps derived from more vigorous knee extension.

Gerald A. Smith and Brian S. Heagy are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. This paper is part of the IOC Project, Olympic Games, Albertville.

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