Nightly News   |  February 08, 2014

Science Could Help U.S. Win Olympic Gold

Hi-tech advances just may help give some athletes the edge they need to win.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> where earlier today the veteran u.s. skier bode miller hit a forward speed of 90 miles an hour in what was a practice run on the mountain. so it sort of makes sense when you learn that team usa is using the science of rocket science and aviation to build better athlete and improve the odds of winning at these games. our report from kevin tibbles in sochi.

>> reporter: can they fly any? that is what the u.s. ski team was hoping this real-life rocket science would help them do. one of the items was this.

>> basically it is a missile guidance system brought down to the size of a quarter.

>> reporter: the alpine skier is wearing the device today, capturing millions of data points and speed and force and g force , all of the items for his coach to analyze.

>> this takes it to an entirely different level.

>> reporter: when the difference between first, second and third can be just a hundredth of a second, the u.s. olympians hope their investment in technology will place them at the top of the podium. if you want to hit top speed , who better to ask than the people who make fighter jets . the u.s. speed skating team has partnered with lockheed martin to design the mach 39. a suit more aerodynamic than anything seen in the sport before. in order to fly farther, u.s. ski jumpers practice their form in specially designed wind tunnels . but the real secrets may be held deep inside the snowboard and skier center of excellence in park city , utah. this is where the united states works to stay ahead in the sports technology arms race .

>> everything is feeding into this data base automatically, test results, training programs are submitted. even medical alerts that come in.

>> reporter: from these data bases , these are designed for athletes like mogul skier hannah carney, no matter where she is in the world.

>> there are multiple people watching me, saying you're getting my diary?

>> reporter: from today's technology, no method is to small in the race to be higher, and faster, kevin tibbles, colorado.