Physics Coursework Ski Jumping

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Points are deducted for every meter short of the K line they land and added for every meter farther than the line.

The normal hill in the 2018 Olympics is a K98, and the K line is 98 m from the end of the jump.

The result is the jumpers ability to go farther down the jump and closer to the end in image (B).

The Olympian ideal of going faster, jumping further and leaping higher than the opposition is central to competitive sports.

The way they fly down a hill at speeds topping 60 mph to launch through the air for longer than a football field astounds me.

The way they contort their bodies so they are at a nearly 10-degree angle off their skies mystifies me.

The skier also will lean down until they are almost touching their skis (the flexibility of a gymnast) in order to reduce the air drag they are fighting – again, aerodynamics. If the landing hill were completely flat, the force would push backwards so hard on the skier that it would literally break them (some part of them, at least).

If the slope were facing toward the skier, well, that would be like running (rather, skiing) into a brick wall, obviously.

It also helps them reach their greatest speed, because after they leave the ground, there is nothing more they can do as far as gaining speed goes.

When they launch into the air, they position their skis into a V-shape, which science has proven to increase their lift by about 30 percent. Science says that the “crash” is less impactful if the skier lands on a slope that is sloping away from them.


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