Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Goggle Camera debuted in Schladming

The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming have provided the stage for a world premiere. Starting with the men’s super combined slalom competition on 11th February, a number of racers have been equipped with the latest technical innovation, a camera integrated into their goggle, which will be used in the technical events during the 2nd week of the championships.
Since last spring, technicians from the German company Riedel Communications have been working closely with professionals from FIS, the Austrian Ski Association and experts from the Austrian public broadcaster ORF to develop the solution that enables completely new images to be transmitted all over the world. Various prototypes of the Riedel solution have been inspected and tested by safety experts and athletes over the last 10 months.
Atle Skaardal, FIS Chief Race Director for ladies Alpine Skiing commented: "FIS is always interested in developing the sport, not just the technical aspects but enhancing the sport’s presentation. The idea of a camera on the racer is not new, however, the current initiative by Riedel finally makes the execution in racing possible. In the development of the solution the key focus for FIS was to ensure the solution’s safety, fairness and appropriate implementation of the technology to our sport".
The latest version of the goggle camera called "RiCam" only weighs a total of 64g. Wearing it in competition is voluntary for the athletes and there will be four to eight athletes per technical event racing with the camera. There will be no goggle cameras in use in the speed events. Coverage created by the goggle cameras is content that belongs to the rights holders and is not available freely.

Schladming is a small town in the Styria region of Austria, which has become very popular with tourists. The town is located in the centre of Austria and is situated 706m above sea level. Although the town was originally a mining settlement, in modern times winter tourism has become the main industry.
The skiing region of Schladming is known as the "4 mountain region". The region includes the Planai and Hochwurzen mountains. The Planai is the main peak, reaching a height of 1906 meters. The region is nestled in the heart of the Styrian Enns valley.
Schladming has been a fixture in the men' alpine skiing World Cup for over 30 years. The first race was held on the 22nd December, 1973. Since then 31 events have been held at the Austrian resort and the host nation has unsurprisingly been the most triumphant, boasting 14 of the 31 winners as well as having had 37 medal winners and 91 skiers finish in the top 10.
Benjamin Raich and Hermann Maier have been the most successful athletes for Austria, with Raich winning on four occasions and Maier emerging victorious from three events.
In 1998 Schladming joined the Club 5+ (formerly known as the Club 5), an association of the leading Alpine ski race organizers from all over the World.

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