How UK Sport is using virtual reality to prepare athletes for the Olympics
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How UK Sport is using virtual reality to prepare athletes for the Olympics

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Several British athletes will be able to scope out international venues ahead of major competitions using virtual reality headsets.

As part of the eight-year technology partnership between UK Sport and defence and security company BAE Systems, the latter has developed 360 degree and 3D simulations of courses so that athletes feel prepared during their event at the Olympics and other major championships.

The project – titled VR-Vantage – provides 3D playback which can be viewed on smartphones, or on headsets to give the athletes a “fully immersive experience”. Athletes can experience all the unique twists and turns present in different environments to develop an advantage.

The technology aims to provide benefit for those taking part in events such as sailing, canoe slalom and triathlon, as well as winter sports like bobsleigh, skeleton and ski slalom.

UK Sport director of performance Simon Timson said familiarity and practice “breeds confidence in athletes”.

“The advantages of virtual training should not be underestimated in the pursuit of excellence,” he added. “This adaptation of new technology allows us to digitally bottle that experience for elite athletes and help them perform at their best.”

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Several British athletes will be able to scope out international venues ahead of major competitions using virtual reality headsets.
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