Fall and Head Impact Acceleration Monitoring of Short Track Speed Skaters
Short track speed skating is a fast-paced sport where athletes routinely reach speed above 50 km/h. It is one of the leading Canadian sports for medal count at the Olympic games. Unfortunately, given the fast-paced and pack-style skating, athletes often fall on the ice, which may lead to concussion. There is no clear data on the incidence of falls in short track speed skating, nor is there a clear understanding of the mechanism of head impact.
Therefore, this project will track the incidence of falls and measure head impacts that may lead to concussion using ‘smart’ mouth guards. These mouth guards have sensors that can quantify the force, location, direction, and number of impacts an athlete sustains during practice or in competition. In addition to using mouth guards to further understand head impacts, we will perform comprehensive concussion assessments to correlate head impacts to the incidence of concussion. This project will be highly beneficial to INS Québec and the Olympic Canadian short track speed skating team as it will help coaches and medical staff better understand how their athletes get concussions. This project will also help inform guidelines for the future development of helmets to keep athletes safe and healthy.