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Researchers looking for the perfect curling shot

Finally, a world where academics and athletics co-exist together tofine-tune and perfect the mechanics of a sport to bring Canadianathletes to the top of the podium.

Finally, a world where academics and athletics co-exist together to fine-tune and perfect the mechanics of a sport to bring Canadian athletes to the top of the podium.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have been working on the science behind a perfectly delivered curling rock to help the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams achieve gold this February in Vancouver.

“The goal was to have everybody playing better than maybe they otherwise would have played,” said Rob Krepps, head coach at the National Training Centre in Edmonton and member of Canada’s women’s Olympic curling team.

Partnered with U of A researcher Pierre Baudin, the duo and a research team have spent over three years working on this project.

Transforming the ice at the U of A’s Saville Training Centre into a high-tech research lab, the team has been able to record data using state-of-the-art video and motion sensors to calculate the science behind the centuries-old game.

“Understanding that many things contribute to performance, and technique is only one of them,” said Krepps.

With this new technology the 2010 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic curling teams may be able to clean the house in the medal standings.

“They will have the chance to be a team that displays technical excellence,” said Krepps.