Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Analyzing Ski Jumping Video

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics starts February 12.

One of my favorite events to watch is the ski jump. The athlete takes off down a long steep ramp and launches off the end off the ramp in attempt to gain maximum distance. Athlete's are also scored on their style on take-off, through the air and on final landing.

What I enjoy most about watching ski jumping is the ease with which this sport can be analyzed and technique improved using simple video analysis. Most of the analysis of pro athletes can even come directly from TV broadcasts, because the best views to watch the sport are often also the best angles to analyze it.

Below we have some video of Janne Ahonen, of Finland jumping a huge jump at World Cup in 2009.

Note particularly in the replay that the broadcast uses a front on view of the jumper. We Can see how he pushes off for the take off and how he corrects his body position through the air, both for style and to obtain maximum jumping distance. Finally we can see him prepare for the Telemark landing. The Telemark is a landing style with one foot in front of the other and scores higher style points for the jumper.

We look forward to a great year of sports and video sports analysis in 2010. Look out for more features during the Winter Olympics.

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