Luge Team Extreme Wind Tunnel Test

In luge, 3-tenths of a second can make the difference between gold and nothing. And the right suit can help get an athlete there.

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United States Olympic luge team member Mark Grimmette is positioned for a wind tunnel test on a new racing suit to be used for the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics at the San Diego Air and Space Museum on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
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Telemundo51
In luge, 3-tenths of a second can make the difference between gold and nothing. And the right suit can help get an athlete there. Two time luge medalist and Team USA member for 2010, Mark Grimmette took part in a wind tunnel test to try out several new racing suits to be used for the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics.
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The state of the art testing facility, which reminds us a little of the Millenium Falcon, is located at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. The facility tracked differences in tenths of seconds between the various suits. "We're just trying to make our equipment as aerodynamic as possible," Grimmette said.
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At first glance Grimmette is just laying there, but a closer look reveals smoke sailing over him as part of the wind tunnel testing process. Grimmette had to remain in the same position as a team of scientists measured the drag associated with each suit.
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Slight adjustments are necessary for testing. Here former Olympian and silver medalist Gordy Sheer helps check Grimmette's head position.
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Sheer directs Grimmette during the testing to find the most aerodynamic suit possible. The winner had about a 3-tenths of a second difference, an etertiny in Olympic luge events.
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As Grimmette lies motionless in the tunnel, a laser beam takes measurements during the racing suit's test.
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Here Grimmette stands next to the giant fan that generated the wind necessary for the test. Get more information on San Diego's Olympic Zone.
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Olympic silver medalist Gordy Sheer, right, of the United States Luge Association, helps zip up the new racing suit of current luge team member Mark Grimmette during testing for the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics at the San Diego Air and Space Museum wind tunnel.
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Data systems engineer Frank Petach monitors incoming information as United States Olympic luge team member Mark Grimmette lies in a wind tunnel during testing of a new racing suit to be used for the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics at the San Diego Air and Space Museum wind tunnel.
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A Canadian luge athlete prepares for a test slide at the sliding centre for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia.
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A Canadian luge athlete warms up prior to a test run at the sliding center for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia.
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