Aussie Olympians’ hi-tech secrets


Not such a hard day at work for two of Australia’s Olympic athletes.

But it’s not all this easy. The spa pool is followed by an ice cold shower – all part of a training and recovery regime aimed at keeping their bodies in peak condition.

Here at the Australian Institute of Sport – the country’s elite training campus for Olympians - going for gold is a highly technical process.

SOUNDBITE 1 Matthew Favier (man), director Australian Institute of Sport (English, 11 sec):
“The campus here in particular in Canberra has got one of probably the most highly integrated training environments, including all of the science disciplines coupled with our coaches that are experts in their field.”

The Institute’s new recovery centre is just one facility in its arsenal of medal-winning weapons.

Down the road, another Olympic hopeful is doing time in a specially designed altitude house.

The air in here has a decreased oxygen content, and simulates altitudes of up to 3,500 metres. Spending time in the house can help the athletes become more competitive by boosting their red blood cells.

1500 metre runner Michael Roeger will spend three and a half weeks at altitude, for 14 hours each day.

SOUNDBITE 2 Michael Roeger (man), Paralympic athlete (English, 10 sec):
“The results I’ve had the last three years doing altitude training, especially in the altitude house with the protocol – live high, train low – has really worked for me.”

In another corner of the Institute, Aussie cyclists have recreated their own slice of London.

The cycling team used cameras to film the Olympic road track. This data was then punched into a simulator that mimics the ups and downs of the actual route.

It’s a psychological help for the Olympic athletes, as one of their support team demonstrates.

SOUNDBITE 3 Eric Harkinson (man), women’s road cycling team researcher (English, 5 sec):
“It helps me to familiarize myself with the more taxing parts of the course and what I need to save myself for.”

SOUNDBITE 4 David Martin (man), senior physiologist Australian Institute of Sport, (English, 5 sec):
“It’s just that fine little edge, and maybe it’s the difference between fourth and third, maybe it’s the difference between second and gold.”

And gold is the colour that Australia’s athletes will all be riding after at the London Games.



- VAR Olympic 4 x 100m freestyle swimmer, Tommaso D'Orsogna and 400 m hurdler, Brendan Cole in a spa pool at the Australian Institute of Sport Recovery Centre
- VAR Tomasso D'Orsogna and Brendan Cole in a hot/cold shower facility at the recovery centre
- Tomasso D'Orsogna addressing the media
- Signage reading "Australian Institute of Sport Recovery Centre
- Signage on an opening door reading "BOC altitude house"
- A woman showing the control panel for the altitude house
- An air vent inside the altitude house
- CU the control panel
- VAR establishing shots of 1500 metre runner, Michael Roeger reading a book inside the altitude house
- Senior physiologist David Martin coaching Eric Harkinson as he uses the London road race simulator
- Mid shot of Eric Harkinson cycling in front of a TV screen showing the virtual route
- VAR David Martin showing the original footage shot in London on a computer screen
- CU Eric Harkinson riding the simulator
- CU cycle pedals
- CU Eric Harkinson's face with sweat dripping