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February 21 2014

February 18 2014

February 16 2014

February 15 2014

February 12 2014

Mexico's Downhill Ski Team Is One German Prince in a Mariachi Suit
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The Jamaican bobsled team got plenty of attention going into the Sochi Olympics as the return of the ultimate underdog team. But Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg — the one-man team for Mexico's downhill skiing competition — puts them to shame when it comes to great Olympic underdog stories.

Nicknamed "The Royal Disaster," Prince Hubertus is a legitimate Prince of what was formerly a principality of Germany. The son of Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Ira of Fürstenberg, he was born in Mexico, where he still retains citizenship — though he only lived there full-time until he was about four. After that Hubertus's family moved to Austria and he grew up mostly in Vienna, where he learned to ski. Read more...

More about Mexico, Winter Olympics, Skiing, Entertainment, and World
Winter Olympics Photo of the Day: Twists and Turns
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It may be the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere, but temperatures at the 2014 Sochi Olympics are on the milder side. The effect of these warm temperatures can be seen in Wednesday's Photo of the Day, which features Eric Frenzel of Germany (right) and Akito Watabe of Japan (left) competing in the Nordic combined individual normal hill event.

The shadowed shot was taken by Al Bello, Getty Images' award-winning chief sports photographer. Bello, who captured the image at the RusSki Gorki Nordic Combined Skiing Stadium, is covering his tenth Olympics in Sochi. It showcases the snow's slushy conditions as well as the tight turns competitors must maneuver. Read more...

More about Japan, Olympics, Germany, Winter Olympics, and Skiing
U.S. Speed-Skating Gear Gets High-Tech Upgrade for Olympics
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The U.SOlympic speed-skating team will be sporting some upgraded suits, as they race around the ice rink in Sochi this Saturday.

Using motion-capture technology, Under Armour teamed up with Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace and defense firm, to create better suits for the speed-skating team, according to New Scientist.

Harnessing the same technology used to create artificial characters in movies such as Avatar, the team recorded the athletes, as they raced around the ice rink. They then built fiberglass mannequins in various skating poses based on the recordings. After dressing the mannequins in hundreds of different suits made out of various materials, the team placed them in a wind tunnel, and examined how different designs and materials affected the suits in the high-speed winds. Read more...

More about Olympics, U.S., Winter Olympics, Skiing, and Dev Design

February 11 2014

Top Moments From Sochi: Shaun White Founders While Women Soar
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Long-time NBC Olympic host Bob Costas might be on the bench, but athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics are still raring and ready to go.

Olympians fought for the gold in a number of sports Tuesday, including women's ski jumping, which finally made its inaugural Olympic appearance, figure skating, men's snowboarding and biathlon.

German Carina Vogt, who won the gold medal in women's ski jumping, told the Associate Press: "I cannot find the right words ... It’s amazing. I’m the first woman Olympic champion in ski jumping.”

Notable moments included an unexpected snowboarding upset when dominant American Shaun White failed to medal on the halfpipe due to a disastrous first run, Norway's tight gold medal finish in men's cross country and a fight to the top in pairs figure skating that resulted in a Russian win. Read more...

More about Olympics, Winter, Winter Olympics, Skiing, and Snowboarding

February 09 2014

What It's Like to Shoot Hoops With Olympians
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Nothing but net, dudes

The latest video from Dude Perfect features more ice-cold skills from the energetic and upbeat crew. The gang traveled to USSA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, to hang out with some gold-medal hopefuls — and to sink a few baskets while they were at it.

The guys perform some impressive basketball tricks at the training center, making perfect shots from long distances and deep in snow. They also got to rub shoulders with some of the most talented winter Olympians in the world, including Team USA's freestyle skier Hannah Kearney and snowboarder Faye Gulini, French freestyle skier Albert Bedouet, and Canadian freestyle skier Mikaël Kingsbury. Read more...

More about Youtube, Olympics, Basketball, Winter Olympics, and Skiing

January 16 2014

Ski Jumper With GoPro Lands Stunning Launch
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The Winter Olympics are coming, and athletes around the world are training hard for their chance to compete. One of the more popular and dangerous sports, ski jumping, requires an unimaginable amount of skill, finesse and courage

That doesn't mean we can't experience the thrill from a safe, virtual distance. Norwegian ski jumper Anders Jacobsen equipped himself with a GoPro during a practice run in Lillehammer, Norway

The stunning (yet surprisingly calm) view shows Jacobsen barreling down the hill, launching off the jump, and flying through the air for what seems like an eternity. His personal record is an astonishing 230.5 m, or 756.23 ft Read more...

More about Olympics, Viral Video, Skiing, Gopro, and Watercooler

January 11 2014

Veteran Olympic Ski Jumper Takes Terrifying Fall
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Austrian ski jumper Thomas Morgenstern — a two-time Olympic champion — took a dangerous fall during a training jump in Tauplitz, Austria on Friday that left him hospitalized with unknown injuries.

The fall, captured on YouTube, happened after Morgenstern lost his balance in the air during a jump. He twisted to the left and landed on his side, speeding down the rest of the slope on his back.

According to the New York Post, 27-year-old Morgenstern was repsonsive after the jump and able to talk to his team physician. He is currently hospitalized in Salzburg. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Skiing, Sports, and Winter Olympics 2014

January 07 2014

Lindsey Vonn Withdraws From Sochi Olympics Due to Knee Injury
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The U.S. women's Ski Team will be without its most prominent star at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia.

Two-time Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn, 29, announced Tuesday morning that she would forego the competition due to a lingering knee injury. Vonn explained the situation and expressed disappointment in a post on her Facebook page

Her bio page on the U.S. Ski Team's site describes Vonn as "the most successful female ski racer in American history." She nabbed a Gold Medal in the downhill competition and a Bronze in the Super giant slalom or "Super-G" at the 2010 games in Vancouver. She's the only American woman to ever win the Olympic Gold in the downhill Read more...

More about Olympics, Skiing, Entertainment, Sports, and Lindsey Vonn

December 16 2010

20+ Online Resources for Planning a Winter Getaway

The Winter Tech Series is supported by Goodyear. Its Winter Reactive Technology helps drivers react to changing winter weather conditions. Be prepared for rain, snow, ice, sleet and slush. Learn more here and take this survey for a chance to win $1,000.

sled

Sloshing through the snow on the way to work and thawing out stiff, red hands upon arrival makes some people who live in cold winter climates frustrated, saddened and generally fed up with the weather. It makes other people (smarter people) plan vacations during the arctic months.

If you fit into the latter category, these resources can help you find the best places for escaping or enjoying winter on a reasonable budget. Take a look at our recommendations and add your own tips in the comments below.


Resources for Conquering the Slopes


OnTheSnow

Attitudes about snow quickly transform from “complete hassle” to “complete awesome” at a ski resort. Before you commit to a destination, see what other skiers had to say about it at OnTheSnow.com. The site uses skiers’ ratings to list top-rated resorts as well as the resorts that are best for families, nightlife, terrain park and downhill terrain. You’ll also be able to check the snow report for each resort.

You don’t need to take anybody’s word about great or bleak conditions if you visit goski.com. The site has feeds from web cams at many of the resorts that it profiles. Snoweye.com features photos from 5,085 of these cameras in 45 countries around the world, but unfortunately doesn’t rate them.

Booking in advance can save you money. Before you do so, check discount databases like skicoupons.com and liftopia.com. It can also be helpful to look for discount sites that are specific to your destination’s region. For instance, coloradoski.com and skiutah.com offer great deals for resorts in their respective states.


Resources for Hitting the Trail


Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and winter hiking trails can make great winter vacation activities. The National Park Service provides information for each of its parks about which trails are open in winter, road closings, and which winter activities are appropriate.

Search trails by zip code, keyword and activity at TrailLink.com, the trail database of the rails-to-trails conservancy. The Cross Country Ski Areas Association also maps its member trails and resorts in the United States.


Resources for Escaping the Cold


World

If playing in the snow seems more like adding insult to injury than a frolicking good time, your first step to planning a getaway might be to discover where in the world it is not snowing. You can do so, by country and month, using an interactive temperature map at World Reviewer. If for some reason you don’t like that map, Maps of the World provides a similar resource.

Once you have your destination in mind, scope out these resources for finding the best deals on airfare. You can also check out airlines’ latest winter promotions on blogs like FareCompare and Airfare Watchdog.

Similar web resources are available for those cold-escapers who would rather float than fly. Get professional reviews of cruise ships you’re interested in at Cruise Critic. Hear from fellow travelers what they thought of cruises at Cruise Reviews, Cruisereport.com, or CruiseLineFans. Find a deal at CruiseDeals.com, iCruise.com or Cruise Compete.

Even if your local winter is frosty, there are also ways to escape from the cold without travel. Find an indoor water park near you, Visit a hot spring or book a day at the spa.


Your Picks


These 20+ web resources will get you started for your next winter getaway. Let us know which of our picks are your favorites and add your own recommendations in the comments below.


Series Supported by Goodyear

The Winter Tech Series is supported by Goodyear. Goodyear’s Winter Reactive Technology helps drivers react to changing winter weather conditions. Be prepared for rain, snow, ice, sleet and slush. Learn more here and take this survey for a chance to win $1,000.


More Travel Resources from Mashable:


- Skiing and Snowboarding: 6 Apps For Conquering the Slopes
- 12 iPhone Apps For Exploring the Great Outdoors
- 6 Free iPad Apps for Planning Your Next Vacation
- HOW TO: Plan a Vacation Using Social Media
- 4 Social Web Apps for Making and Sharing Your Travel Plans

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Sportstock

More About: cheap flights, cruises, List, Lists, Outdoors, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, trails, vacation, winter, Winter Tech Series

For more Tech coverage:


November 11 2010

Skiing and Snowboarding: 6 Apps For Conquering the Slopes

The Winter Tech Series is supported by Goodyear. Goodyear’s Winter Reactive Technology helps drivers react to changing winter weather conditions. Be prepared for rain, snow, ice, sleet and slush. Learn more here.

ski

If you’re dreading winter, you are most likely not a skier or snowboarder. The same snow that strains shovelers’ backs, causes traffic jams, and turns to black slush on sidewalks is actually fantastic when you’re sliding blissfully down a mountain. Also, if you’re a skier or snowboarder, you’ll know that winter has already arrived.

Resorts in the U.S. have been open since October and some of the best mountains in Europe have already gotten a healthy dose of snowfall.

Winter sports season is upon us, and, like everything else, there’s an app for that. Here are six of our favorite mobile apps for keeping track of resort conditions, navigating the slopes, and capturing evidence to back up your bragging rights.


1. REALSKI Augmented Reality


If you’ve ever needed to ask someone what chairlift you’re on, you’ll appreciate this augmented reality app. The app uses the iPhone’s compass, camera, and GPS to label points of interest that fall in your phone’s viewfinder. You’ll be able to name the runs, chairlifts, and facilities ahead of you just by holding your phone up. REALSKI is free and includes maps for Copper Mountain, Deer Valley, Killington, Northstar-at-Tahoe, and Stevens Pass. You can download additional maps of about 80 other resorts for $0.99 each.


2. Vail’s EpicMix App


If there weren’t enough reasons to be jealous of skiers and snowboarders headed to Vail Resorts, this winter’s debut of the EpicMix app adds another. The application logs your day on the mountain, rewards you with special pins for accomplishments, like being on the first chairlift of the day, and helps you keep track of your friends.

Even visitors without smartphones can take advantage of many EpicMix features, because the phone relies on a chip embedded in lift tickets that is scanned by Vail employees at the bottom of lifts. The application uses information about which lifts the visitor rides to calculate vertical feet skied, days on the mountain, routes taken, and other feats. Visitors can log into the website or the app for Android and iPhone (the app for BlackBerry is currently in development). They can use the same app to track their family members and Facebook friends’ locations and accomplishments.


3. iTrailMap 3D


iTrailMap

With the right app, smartphones with GPS can track your spot on the mountain and keep track of your total distance, vertical distance and elevation. But sometimes you just need to pull out a static map and plot your day. This iPhone app offers the best of both worlds by letting you flip between a “paper” version of resort maps and their 3D, GPS-enabled counterparts. The former also allow you to retrace your day and upload it to the web.

The full 3D version ($4.99) gives you access to 750 resort maps worldwide. The maps are downloaded onto your phone, which means they’re still useful on mountains out of reception range. Slightly cheaper single-destination 3D versions are available for popular resorts like Vail and Brekenridge. Big Air Software, which makes the iTrail Map, also makes an advertising-supported free version, but it only includes static “paper” maps.

If you have a BlackBerry or Android phone, try similar application Satski ($8.99).


4. Snow and Ski Report by REI


REI

While it’s fine to remain blissfully ignorant of business, politics and world affairs during a ski weekend, one kind of news that you’ll definitely want to keep up with is the weather. REI’s recently updated Ski and Snow Report App makes it easy by letting you track the weather at up to 12 of your favorite resorts. You can either add resorts that are near your current location or pick from a worldwide list. See how much snow has fallen in the last 72 hours, how deep it is at base of the mountain, the number of trails open, and the number of lifts running at one glance. If you’re planning ahead, there’s also a five-day forecast available for each resort. The updated version also has the option to include a resort’s Twitter feed on its weather dashboard and even includes live web cams for some resorts. (Oh yes, and the ability to search for the REI stores within a 200 mile radius.)

REI doesn’t seem to have updated Android or BlackBerry versions, but The North Face makes a comparable app for both the BlackBerry and Android that works just as well.


5. Elevation Pro


Elevation

This $0.99 app is pretty simple. It tells you what your current elevation is, which is something that being on a mountain, especially on a long chairlift run, often makes you curious about. Elevation includes two different calculations. One is the ground elevation using USGS data at your current location. The other is a calculation using the GPS on your phone. If you feel an urge to broadcast what you’ve learned, there’s a tweet button built right in to the application


6. snowEdge


snowEdge

If you must quantify your slope time, snowEdge will help you. The iPhone App judges your skill based on how fast you go, how dynamic your turns are, and how much air you get on jumps. By leaving the application open, you’ll get a measurement on each of these factors for every run that you do. Speed and air time are about as self explanatory as expected, but the measurement for dynamic turns is based on the app’s “Turn Acceleration Index” and takes into account the lateral acceleration during the turn.

An especially appreciated detail is that the default interface displays your latest run and your best runs throughout the day on the same screen. That way, you can aim to improve and easily track your progress.


Series Supported by Goodyear

The Winter Tech Series is supported by Goodyear. Goodyear’s Winter Reactive Technology helps drivers react to changing winter weather conditions. Be prepared for rain, snow, ice, sleet and slush. Learn more here.


More Mobile Resources from Mashable:


- iPhone Apps For Exploring the Great Outdoors
- 8 Free BlackBerry Games Worth Downloading
- 3 New Recipe Apps for the iPad [PICS]
- 5 Mobile Apps for Finding Great Movies
- 13 Branded Mobile Apps That Got It Right

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, AnastasiyaShanhina

More About: android, apps, blackberry, Elevation, iphone, iTrailMap, mobile apps, REI, skiing, snowboarding, winter sports, Winter Tech Series

For more Mobile coverage:


August 30 2010

Nike+ Meets Gowalla in Vail Resorts App for Skiiers and Snowboarders


More than just powder will be coating the mountains and chair lifts at Vail Resorts this fall. The Colorado-based company has unveiled a new social gaming app for its 2010-2011 ski and snowboard season that allows visitors to track their activities and share them with their friends and family — all via radio frequency (RF)-enabled chips embedded in their season passes and lift tickets.

The app, called EpicMix, is a cross between Nike+ and miCoach, which allow you to track your physical activities, and Gowalla, which rewards users for exploring new areas via its Trips feature. Like Gowalla, EpicMix rewards users with special pins for various accomplishments, such as being on the first chairlift of the day, or skiing a certain number of vertical feet over a designated period of time.


How It Works


What’s different (and especially impressive) about EpicMix is that it doesn’t require a smartphone or GPS-enabled device to participate, nor does it require familiarity with geolocation apps and the concept of “checking in.” Everything visitors need is already in their pass or lift ticket.

Employees will be stationed at the resorts’ various lifts (there are 89 across its five resorts in Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Heavenly) to scan the chips, which allows the application to automatically calculate the number of vertical feet skied, days on the mountain, routes taken and other feats. Guests can thus seamlessly and effortlessly keep track of their activities without having to fumble for their smartphones to check in at various locations — in other words, they can continue skiing and snowboarding the way they always have. Of course, visitors can also opt not to have their passes scanned.

To access their stats and the pins they’ve earned, participants will need to log in to the app via their desktops or a free mobile app for iPhone and Android devices. A third hybrid application is also available for other smartphones, including BlackBerrys. (The Vail Resorts team told us that most of their visitors are Blackberry users and that while the current BlackBerry OS is not robust enough to support all of the same features available to iPhone and Android users, they are hoping to improve on it in the future.)

Users can also use the apps to keep track of where their Facebook friends are at each of the resorts, create leaderboards to compare accomplishments, send private messages to organize meetups and share their activity with their social networks on Facebook, Facebook Places and Twitter. We can imagine that the the tracking feature will be especially useful for parents who want to monitor the whereabouts of their children’s ski classes.

Vail Resorts has also created a version of the app designed especially for kids under age 14, which boasts a separate set of pins and other content, as well as the ability to connect to their parents’ accounts and additional privacy restrictions.


Why We Like It


EpicMix delivers a terrific user experience that is sure to drive loyalty and engagement well beyond what the resort is currently able to offer via its newsletter and other communications channels. It also successfully repurposes the best of activity-tracking apps like Nike+ and miCoach, and social gaming apps like Gowalla and Foursquare in a personalized way, proving what a localized, medium-sized company can do with cutting-edge social and mobile technologies.

The app launches officially on opening day at Keystone Mountain on November 5

What do you think of EpicMix? When do you think it’s better for companies to design campaigns within the parameters of location-based apps like Foursquare and Gowalla, versus creating their own?

More About: action sports, Android App, epicmix, foursquare, gowalla, iphone app, Nike, skiing, snowboarding, sports, vail resorts

For more Mobile coverage:


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