About This Episode
On this episode of Playing with Science we’re heading downhill, fast. Hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice continue our series of episodes focused on the Olympics as they descend into the world of Alpine Skiing. First up, Chuck and Gary chat with Team Canada Olympian Erin Mielzynski and physicist John Eric Goff about slalom skiing. Erin shares what it’s like right before the start of the race, and explains her strategy and technique for going as quickly as possible. Prof. Goff breaks down the forces Erin is interacting with on her way down the mountain, and you’ll also learn which is more aerodynamic for a skier: braided hair or a ponytail? (There is a difference!) After that, Gary and Chuck talk with Jake Stevens, the US Race Director at Rossignol, one of the top snow sports manufacturers in the world. Jake gives details on what it’s like working behind-the-scenes to make world class equipment for world class athletes. They also explore different types of skis, and how manufactures stay innovative within strict guidelines and rules. And, of course, Chuck can’t help but ask about the development of rocket skis – which may be closer than you think. Gary and Chuck welcome back John Eric Goff to join their conversation with Andrew Weibrecht, Team USA Olympic Alpine Skier. You’ll find out how he got his nickname “War Horse,” and Andrew serves Chuck a lesson in speed. Plus, we explore the physics at work on the slopes using Andrew’s body type as an example.
NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Olympic Alpine Skiing, with Erin Mielzynski and Andrew Weibrecht.