BMW Delivers Second Training Tool to the United States Olympic Committee
Combining Sports Science and Automotive Engineering Research, BMW Aims to Help
Swimmers Improve Race-Determining Starts and Turns
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. -- August 02, 2012
BMW, the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee,
today announced the completion of its second vehicle-to-athlete technology
transfer project, a first-of-its-kind motion tracking system that will analyze
a swimmer’s form and technique. The system, provided by BMW to USA Swimming
(USAS), combines underwater cameras with BMW automotive technology to give
coaches data they can use to help swimmers improve starts and turns - both
critically important parts of competition.
Developed at the BMW Group Technology Office in Mountain View, Calif., the
technology will analyze a swimmer’s dolphin kick within the allowed 15 meters
of underwater swimming and provide quantitative performance data to coaches.
The software tracks six points on the swimmer’s body – wrists, shoulders,
hips, knees, ankles and toes – allowing coaches to pinpoint the performance
attributes of specific parts of the body, as well as see how well all parts
are working together to increase speed and efficiency.
The technology will provide coaches with information that is a significant
improvement over the current approach of manually counting strokes and kicks
from the deck or making assumptions from underwater video footage. By
comparing measurements to performance over time, coaches will be able to use
BMW’s motion tracking tool to hone in on technique adjustments that work best
for each individual swimmer’s body characteristics.
Such improvements can pay off, because in elite swimming, a .01 second
advantage can mean the difference between winning gold and going home empty
handed. Technology such as this tool has the potential to significantly help a
swimmer’s training focus and improve their race times.
“Watching our best swimmers, it’s clear that the dolphin kick is a very
powerful stroke that is critical to overall performance in a race,” said
Russell Mark, National Team High Performance Consultant to USA Swimming.
“However, one challenge our coaches face is the lack of a clear understanding
as to which movements and technique promote the strongest dolphin kicks. This
tool will help us identify and teach those ingredients.”
Following the London 2012 Olympic Games, USAS will work on building its
library of dolphin kicks by capturing the training sessions of strong dolphin
kickers who come through the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs,
Colo. With the development and subsequent analysis of this library of data
will come an emergence of gold standard criteria, which will then help coaches
identify what changes their swimmers might need to make to achieve those
The motion tracking tool for USA Swimming is BMW’s second technology transfer
project under its sponsorship of Team USA, which leverages the company’s
automotive engineering expertise to drive athletic performance. Earlier in
April, BMW officially handed off a velocity measurement training tool to USA
Track & Field which provides real-time analysis for improving long jump
performance. Decathlon Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay was involved in the
testing of this technology.
The BMW software used to analyze the athlete’s movement in both training tools
is similar to technology being explored for driver assistance systems in
future generations of BMW vehicles. This technology initiative is central to
BMW’s comprehensive U.S. Olympic program which endeavors to advance the
performance goals of Team USA while bringing communities across the country
closer to the excitement of the Olympic Games.
“We’re quite pleased to have been able to develop two new training tools for
the athletes of Team USA this year,” said Dirk Rossberg, Head of the BMW Group
Technology Office USA. “What’s also interesting is that, in working so closely
with USA Swimming and USA Track & Field, we’ve been able to bring key pieces
of information back to our research and development of vision systems. It’s a
partnership in the truest sense of the word.”
To learn more about BMW Group’s partnership with the London 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games and its designation as a Sustainability Partner of LOCOG,
visit the dedicated press page www.press.bmwgroup.co.uk. To learn more about
BMW’s partnership with the USOC and National Governing Bodies USA Bobsled &
Skeleton, US Speedskating, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field, visit
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW
Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and
financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including
motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars;
DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology
office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.
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manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and
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car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114
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located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the
Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com.
Journalist note: Information about BMW Group and its products in the USA is
available to journalists online at www.bmwusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.
BMW of North America, LLC
Stacy Morris, 201-370-5134
Corporate Communications Manager, Marketing & Culture
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