Buffalo wind tunnel helps Olympic skiers

Feb. 19, 2006 at 4:30 AM

BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Skiers on the U.S. Olympic ski team got some special help from the Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center's low-speed wind tunnel in Buffalo, N.Y.

Aerospace engineer Michael S. Holden, who heads the center, has studied how to reduce drag on skiers, speed skaters and the athletes competing in sledding events -- any event where an aerodynamic effect will help in the competition, Wired magazine said.

Not only has he helped the current U.S. Olympic Alpine team, he's been doing it for two decades, The New York Times reported.

Ski team members Daron Rahlves, Marco Sullivan, Scott Macartney and Steve Nyman used the wind tunnel last fall to test equipment and

technique, but Calspan has provided similar training sessions for U.S. Olympic alpine ski teams, ski jumping, luge, speed skating and skeleton.

The wind tunnel is credited with contributing to seven gold medals starting with Bill Johnson at Sarajevo in 1984.

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