With the Winter Games starting this week in PyeongChang, South Korea, it's fun to highlight a competitive edge often forgotten: innovation.
Over the years, winter sporting innovations have delivered plastic ski boots for alpine racers; wind tunnel testing for bobsleds, skiers and figure skaters; metal components for skis; aerodynamic fabrics for speed skaters; and unique carbon fiber protrusions for snowboarders. Other innovations involve timing, video simulation, snow making, and ice management (cue the Zamboni).
Many of these innovations have become common place not just in athletic circles but across consumer markets. Their deployment into everyday use started with the world's best athletes, who collaborated daily with companies, inventors and technologists to reach the podium. The medal winners achieve their goals not only with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, but with next-generation technologies.