Olympic athletes filmed at Bucks

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Date: 20th Mar 2018

The Human Performance Laboratory at Buckinghamshire New University features in a series of films on the Olympic Channel about the anatomy of a top athlete.

The programmes were filmed at Bucks New University by production company IMG, are called Anatomy of an Athlete, and feature French figure skater Mae Meite, Canadian ice hockey player Jennifer Wakefield, and Ukrainian weightlifter Dmytro Chumak undergoing a series of tests to assess their capabilities.

The Human Performance Lab is part of the Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre at Bucks New University, which also includes a Sports and Wellbeing Clinic.

Dr Maria Konstantaki, Course Leader in BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, said: “It was an amazing opportunity to be involved in delivering fitness tests to Olympic athletes and seeing their extraordinary performance capabilities first hand.

“The programme was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Olympic Channel and it has now aired worldwide, meaning maximum exposure of our University to an international audience.”

“In preparation for testing of the athletes, I had to research their sport for physiological demands to prescribe appropriate tests for them, which was an eye-opening experience.  

“The films are wonderfully produced and they showcase the University's Human Performance Lab, the staff and the athlete's performance in their individual sport. We feel proud to have contributed to filming of such a worthwhile series.”

The athletes performed a VO2 Max aerobic capacity test; a spirometry respiratory function test; a dynamometry strength test; a knee stabilisation test, an anaerobic power vertical jump test; a body composition test; and a NeuroTracker attentional focus test.

Physical activity expert Professor Greg Whyte OBE, a leading figure in sports science, provides commentary and expert analysis of the athlete’s performance.

Dr Konstantaki was lead contact physiologist on the project, and coordinated the sports science team on it.

Paul Morgan, Head of School - Human and Social Sciences, added: “To be involved with the Olympic Channel and IMG is an excellent achievement.

“As the films illustrate, we have a world-class facility for a range of sport and exercise science degree programmes including our on-site Sports and Wellbeing Clinic.

“We provide many services for a range of sports clubs, athletes, and performance academies, and we are very proud to participate in such a prestigious media production.”

In total the series features six programmes, with other athletes filmed elsewhere.

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