Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It has been an exciting couple of weeks in Sochi for Team GB’s Paralympians. Although there may be some disappointment for Anna Turney, and frustration from Kelly Gallagher (following several crashes) there has been the elation of three silvers and a bronze of Jade Etherington (and her guide Caroline Powell) as well as a bronze for the Wheelchair Curling Team and of course the historic gold medal for Kelly Gallagher.

With 6 medals to bring home this has been an overwhelming success for Team GB, finishing 10th on the medal table above countries better known for their Winter Sports prowess (Norway and Switzerland to name but two).

But what does this mean for the future. Well calls for more funding for Disability Winter Sports have already been made, there are hopes that Disability Sport UK will be able to benefit from the performances of Team GB in Sochi. Recognition should also go to programs such as Back Up and Battle Back which have provided routes into the sport for athletes following major spinal injury.

A final look to the future, because Team GB is very conscious of nurturing future talent, as shown by their selection of Millie Knight to carry the flag at the opening ceremony. There have been promising results from Millie, James Whitley and Ben Sneesby during the last couple of weeks, and with the desired boost in funding for Winter Sports it is hoped that there may be more gold on the horizon in South Korea in 2018.

 

 

 
 

Millie Knight to be Team GB flagbearer

March 6, 2014
by iradclif

News just in, Britain’s youngest ever Winter Paralympic athlete, Millie Knight, is going to be the flag bearer for Team GB in the opening ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Congratulations Millie, and all the best from everyone at the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge.

You can follow Millie on twitter @knight_millie and join in with her Paralympic experience.

 

 

 
 

Flame Lighting Ceremony in Stoke Mandeville

March 3, 2014
by iradclif

Saturday night saw the lighting of the Paralympic Heritage at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury. The grounds around the stadium were a hive of activity on Saturday afternoon as we took a stroll round, and the area went into security lock-down at 3pm in preparation for the arrival of key members of the Paralympic movement who would be taking part in the ceremony. The event itself was shown (very briefly) on the Channel 4 news and featured Paralympic and featured double gold world and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft ignite the Paralympic flame as part of a tribute to the Paralympic motto of ‘Spirit in Motion’. This marks an historic event as it is the first time the Paralympic flame has been lit outside of the host country, and it is planned that Stoke Mandeville Stadium will host the lighting ceremony for every Paralympic Summer and Winter event from now on, to mark its status as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.

Preparations for the flame lighting ceremony (courtesy of I. Radcliffe)

Preparations for the flame lighting ceremony (courtesy of I. Radcliffe)

After an afternoon of trying to have a ‘sticky beak’ at the preparations for the event we (me, my wife and our baby duaghter) were treated to a (not-quite) front row view of the amazing fireworks display from our living room window, there has to be some benefit to living in Aylesbury, right?

 

 

 
 

Exhibition Open at Imperial College Main Entrance

February 11, 2014
by iradclif

Today is the first day of 3 day exhibition showcasing the work of this years Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) and Global Innovation Design (GID) students. As part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge the students undertake an intensive project development, having only 6 weeks to research, propose and produce a concept and prototype based around a key theme.

The Brief for this years challenge was to create an innovative product or sport associated with the Winter Paralympic Games and within one of four themes:

  • Sport Engagement
  • Extreme Sport
  • Sports Protection
  • Future Sport

There are 13 projects in total including among others:

  • a flexible support system for the spine which immobilises the back after sever injury
  • a suit that enables the user to slide on snow
  • a concept sport where the participants row on ice
  • a system to enable hemiplegic athletes to partake in speed skating
  • a prosthetic limb for below knee amputee ski jumpers

The exhibition will run this week until Friday 14th February in the Main Entrance of Imperial College on Exhibition Road South Kensington.

The exhibition in the Main Entrance of Imperial College

The exhibition in the Main Entrance of Imperial College

Spine: flexible support for the spine which immobilises the back after severe injury

Spine: flexible support for the spine which immobilises the back after severe injury

SKIn: a suit that enables a close to the ground, exciting and natural way of sliding on snow

SKIn: a suit that enables a close to the ground, exciting and natural way of sliding on snow

Aurae: a system enabling curling for competitors with neurodegeneration

Aurae: a system enabling curling for competitors with neurodegeneration

Gnar: an outrigger that gives back independence to mono-skiers

Gnar: an outrigger that gives back independence to mono-skiers

Theia: transforming movements into sonic and tactile experiences for visually impaired spectators

Theia: transforming movements into sonic and tactile experiences for visually impaired spectators

 

 

 

 
 

Technological Innovation at the Winter Olympics

February 7, 2014
by iradclif

A bit of fun for Friday, here’s a nice little animation, as part of the Science of Sochi series on the BBC Sport website, explaining the role technological innovations play in the Winter Olympics.

There are also animations on the body’s performance at extreme conditions, and the development of ski designs for different events.

Team GB Snowboarders Jenny Jones and Aimee Fuller are into the Semi-Finals of the Slopestyle event having just missed out on qualifying for the Finals directly.

Coverage of the opening ceremony begins at 3pm.

 

 

 

 

Well there’s no better way to start off the new Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge (RTSIC) Blog than with a celebration, and we at the RTSIC are celebrating the news that Millie Knight has been selected as part of the Sochi 2014 TeamGB Winter Paralympic Ski Team. Millie is a visually impaired skier, racing with her guide Rachael Ferrier, at 15 years old Millie will be Britain’s youngest ever Winter Paralympian.

Millie was kind enough to take time from her training schedule to join in one of our Athlete Workshops as part of the Innovation Design Engineering course (run in conjunction with the RCA). Millie talked through some of her experiences and issues with the existing communication equipment and helped the students get a better understanding of the demands upon the athletes and the equipment during training and competition.

We wish Millie all the best for Sochi 2014 and the future and hope she will be able to visit us again to see what the IDE students produce as part of their 6 week intensive project.

 

Millie Knight demonstrating the communication equipment used in VI skiing

Millie Knight demonstrating the communication equipment used in VI skiing

Millie Knight demonstrating the communication equipment used in VI skiing

Millie Knight demonstrating the communication equipment used in VI skiing