Science to win medals |  Olympic Games

Science to win medals | Olympic Games

Ahead of the Paris Olympics, the École Polytechnique, the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP) have teamed up to launch Science 24.

The idea is simple: weave a network between scientists and sports federations to meet the specific needs of athletes, with the aim of improving performance.

The man behind this project is Christophe Clanet. This physicist and research director at the National Center for Scientific Research has put all his knowledge at the service of high-level athletes and coaches.

We started working with French teams in 2015He told Radio-Canada Sports to explain his quest. It all started with the biathlon team before the Pyeongchang Olympics. We then studied the best waxes for skis based on moisture conditions, which was unlike anything we knew.

Then, on September 13, 2017, hosting of the 2024 Summer Games was awarded to Paris. At the École Polytechnique, where Christophe Clane works, we ask what we can do to help athletes. Hence the idea of ​​bringing together other researchers from 15 major schools to create Science 2024.

One million euros over four years. There's Project Neptune for swimming, Carbon to Gold for sailing, and THPCA (Very High Performance Cycling and Rowing). Hence, we put ourselves at the service of coaches and athletes. “text”: The government has funded several research projects worth 20 million euros over four years. There's Project Neptune for swimming, Carbon to Gold for sailing, and THPCA (Very High Performance Cycling and Rowing). Hence, we place ourselves at the service of coaches and athletes”}}”>The government has funded several research projects worth 20 million euros over four years. There's Project Neptune for swimming, Carbon to Gold for sailing, and THPCA (Very High Performance Cycling and Rowing). Hence, we place ourselves at the service of coaches and athletes“, explains the researcher.

When I say that we “put ourselves into service,” this is not evangelizing the Papuans.

Quote from Christophe Clanet

It is not scientists who pray and explain to a coach who has spent his life on the field what needs to be done to performI would like to explain to the researcher.

Researcher Christophe ClanePhoto: Lindken

Christophe Clanet provides this first example of track cycling to explain his work.

Measurements per second. This is what we used at the Tokyo Games.”, “text”: “The question we were asked was to determine the force that runners put out during standing start races,” he says. The trainer wanted to know exactly the strength of each leg from the first pedal strokes. So we installed sensors on the pedals, which analyzed 100 measurements per second. This is what we used at the Tokyo Games.”}}”>He says the question we were asked was to determine the force exerted by runners during the starting races. The trainer wanted to know exactly the strength of each leg from the first pedal strokes. So we installed sensors on the pedals, which analyzed 100 measurements per second. This is what we used at the Tokyo Games.

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These analyzes allowed the French cycling team to collect 22 Olympic medals in five disciplines, especially on the track and in BMX.

The researcher is now talking about the Neptune Swimming Project.

m, but also in longer events, the start is crucial, he explains. What we call the beginning lies between the plot and the 15thmeter. Departure restriction is arrival 15meters as quickly as possible. We have installed cameras submerged but also out of water, which will allow us to analyze the entire aerial phase.”,text”:For short races like 50 metres, but also for longer events, departure is crucial, he explains. What we call the start is between the plot and 15 metres. The starting restriction is to reach 15 meters as quickly as possible. We have installed cameras, which are submerged in water but also out of water, which will allow us to analyze the entire atmospheric phase.”}}”>He explains that for short races such as 50 metres, but also for longer races, the start is crucial. What we call the start is between the plot and 15 metres. The starting restriction is to reach 15 meters as quickly as possible. We have installed cameras submerged in water but also out of water, which will allow us to analyze the entire atmospheric phase.

meters per second, and then comes a negative phase, where the swimmer does not move, because if he moved he would slow down in his course. The question we were asked next is:: When should a swimmer be active? We applied the laws of physics to find a solution to the problem. Obviously we had to adapt to each of the swimmers, who have different swimming speeds.”,text”:There is the entry into the water, which is at a speed of 6 meters per second, and then there is a passive phase, where the swimmer does not move, because if he moves It will slow down in its tracks. The question that was asked to us then was: When should a swimmer be active? We applied the laws of physics to find a solution to the problem. Obviously we had to adapt to each swimmer having different swimming speeds.”}}”>There is entry into the water, which is done at a speed of 6 meters per second, and then there is a passive phase, where the swimmer does not move, because if he moves, he will slow down in his path. The question that was asked to us then was: When should a swimmer be active? We applied the laws of physics to find a solution to the problem. Obviously we had to adapt to each swimmer having different swimming speeds.

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The biggest challenge facing researchers is time. We know that research takes time, and on the contrary, athletes want quick answers to correct the situation. So how did we come to put it all together?

It is ad hoc research carried out under strong time constraints“, admits the researcher.

Hours, otherwise his dealings with you will not benefit him, because he will forget the action he did and will not know where to correct it. So we will correct the optimization immediately. After that, we have a few months to find a model that we will adapt to each swimmer.”,text”:The Olympic athlete wants to come back very quickly, in less than 24 hours, otherwise the interaction he has with you is useless, because he will forget the signal he made , and he will no longer know where to correct it. So we will correct the optimization immediately. After that, we have a few months to find a model that we can adapt to each swimmer.”}}”>The Olympic athlete wants to come back very quickly, in less than 24 hours, otherwise the interaction he has with you will be of no use, because he will forget the gesture he made and will no longer know where to correct it. So we will correct the optimization immediately. After that, we have a few months to find a model that we can adapt to each swimmer.

Graeme Aubrey

Cyclist Graeme AubreyPhoto: Facebook

The research director now has a dream: to work on his mental strengths.

h in Norway to break the hour record. On the first day it failed and there was a shortage of about 500Mr. The next day, he did it again and beat Francesco Moser's record of 445meter. When asked how he achieved this feat, he admitted:\”I did everything mentally.\”,”text”:”I would like to be able to measure mental strength in kilograms, he said. I started from the story of Graeme Aubrey. In 1993, he rented a 24-hour race track in Norway To break the hour record on the first day, he failed at around 500 metres. The next day, he did it again and broke Francesco Moser's record of 445 metres. When asked how he achieved this feat, he admitted: “I did it all mentally .\””}}”>“I would like to be able to measure mental strength in kilograms,” he says. I started with the story of Graeme Aubrey. In 1993, he rented a 24-hour race track in Norway to break the hour record. On the first day it failed and was about 500 meters long. The next day, he did it again and broke Francesco Moser's record with a distance of 445 metres. When asked how he achieved this feat, he admitted: “I did it all mentally.”

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The researcher will examine everything to find out what happened during these 24 hours, and even analyze the air density. Nothing has changed.

Christophe Clanet wanted to understand how, in 24 hours, Aubry managed to cover 900 meters of the record of 51,596 kilometres.

He now wants to measure mental strength.

Mental strength exists, and all coaches know that, and it varies from one individual to another, just as muscle strength varies. But the idea of ​​being able to measure it is actually stimulating to the physicist.

Similar experiences certainly occurred here as well. We have, for example, been working on aerodynamics in skiing since the 1970s, with great results The Canucks are crazy. Virtual reality has also been used to simulate situations and better prepare athletes. Biomechanists also work at the National Institute of Sport, but we have never gathered as many researchers as France currently does to link them to Olympic teams.

So, when will there be a multidisciplinary Canadian scientific team that will join forces to improve the performance of athletes?

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