The Winter Olympics start up on this Friday and people cannot be more excited. The reason why we love the winter Olympics so much is because math has a big influence on almost every event. Everything in the Olympics is measured using the metric system and many Americans will have to convert meters to feet in order to better grasp on the distance. In the spirit of this great event coming up, we wanted to bring up some math involved with one of the most intense events in the Olympics. The Ski Jump!!!!
1. The slope is 120 meters tall!!!
That’s 393 feet or 4724 inches tall!! The consequences can be dire if you are just a few inches off when you jump. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t go near that hill!
2. The world record is held by a Norwegian ski jumper Anders Fannemel.
The world record was broken twice in 24 hours during the 2015 ski jump world cup. The jump was only one meter more than the previous world record. At 251.5 meters can we see a new record being shattered this year?
3. Newton's first law is kind of a big deal in ski jumping.
For ski jumping, the athlete needs to have as little inertia as possible. The skis help reduce friction but the mass of the athlete affects their inertia. Having less mass allows the athlete to move faster and jump farther.
4. Daniel Bernouli changed the game!!
Daniel Bernouli’s discovery correlates with Newtons 2nd law. Air pressure drops as air moves faster and ski jumpers who know that will position their bodies so the air above them moves faster. The slower air beneath them will have more pressure, giving the skier another dimension of lift.
5. The taller the competitor, the longer the skis.
The maximum length of a competitor’s skis is 145% of the competitor’s height. If an athlete’s body mass index (BMI) is under 21, then the skier must shorten his skis in relation to FIS regulations. Jumping skis are very light, but must have a minimum weight conforming to their length, in the ratio of 39.37 inches to 2.2 pounds