Road To Rio

Over the past few years we have seen a steady rise in the importance of data analytics in a variety of sectors and the benefits it has to offer. A report from Forbes back in January predicted that data analytics will win the ‘Gold Medal’ in this year’s Olympic games. “2016 will be the years that sports analytics really hits the mainstream in its use for performance optimisation by individual athletes – and nowhere will this be more evident than in the 2016 summer Olympics.”

The Olympics roll around every 4 years and are arguably the biggest event in any athlete’s calendar, Rio 2016 is finally here and is set to be the most tech orientated games to date. Despite technology already bringing the games into the future, this year they are set to go even further, Rio will see more technology at the games than ever before.

The athletes are adopting more technology and data analytic software to enhance their chances of winning medals before even reaching the games, wearable technology, augmented reality and various software systems have aided various athletes on their road to Rio.

‘IBoxer’ software developed in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University has enabled GB’s boxers to enhance their training through vast amounts of data on individual performance as well as their future competitors. The performance analysis system uses the data, including detailed fight analytics to reveal threats and opportunities for athletes enabling them to raise their tactics. Whilst cycling has seen augmented reality make its way onto team USA, data collected from bike sensors, such as power, speed and pedal revolutions are beamed wirelessly to the cyclist’s glasses via IBM’s cloud platform, meaning athletes can view their key stats and receive real-time feedback whilst on the track.

There is no denying that varying technology and analysis is making an impact on almost every sport, whether it be in training or in action. However, there is ongoing debate as to how much tech is ‘too much’ and if certain technologies are pricing other competitors out and putting some at an unfair advantage.