Brazilian Paralympians benefit from technology innovation

The country's technology institute has developed solutions to boost athlete performance during the sporting events.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

As the Rio Paralympic Games kick off today, Brazilian athletes will benefit from help of cutting-edge technologies to obtain better results in competitions.

Paralympic athletes pursuing medals in sports such as shot put, discus and javelin competitions require an enormous amount of technical infrastructure to support their training and performance.

With that in mind, Brazil's National Institute of Technology developed a project exclusively dedicated to athletes of these three sports, with custom-built seats for five competitors.

The seats, which took almost a year to develop, were tailored to each athlete from three-dimensional images captured by sensors during the throwing motion of weight or discus.

The Institute's Ergonomics Laboratory used this data to design seats specifically adjusted to the mechanical movements of each thrower. The Three-Dimensional Models Laboratory of the organization then built functional and reduced-scale prototypes of the seats in 3D printers before making the final product.

"The fixing of parts such as belts and fittings has been done individually for each athlete," says Carla Patricia, researcher at the National Institute of Technology.

"They are amputees, but in different ways, so it is important to adapt everything correctly so that they feel more comfortable to execute the throwing with all the power and amplitude possible. The seat adjustment is crucial so that they can improve their results," she adds.

Paralympians Roseanna Ferreira dos Santos (gold medalist at the Sydney 2000 Games), Vanderson Silva, Julyana Cristina da Silva, Márcio Lucas da Paz and Rafael Amorim Coury will all be using the equipment during the Rio Games.

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