With Olympic mania well and truly underway, BMW has revealed that double champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington has been using the brand's expertise in aerodynamics to analyse her underwater performance ahead of the games.
Along with the London 2012 automotive partner and sports scientist Professor Grey Whyte, Rebecca's hydrodynamic performance across her dive and turns has been studied, as well as when she was swimming beneath and on the surface.
The tests, using two metre-long hydrodynamic ribbons that were attached to Rebecca's swimsuit, replicated the effect of vapour trails used in wind tunnels to analyse the aerodynamic efficiency of BMW Group vehicles.
Their movement in the water was then analysed with the help of high-definition, super slow-motion underwater footage, as well as images, to highlight Rebecca's technique in real time, looking at how the smallest details can improve her efficiency.
Since winning two Olympic gold medals in 2008, Rebecca has also triumphed at the World Championships, the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games, but she is still looking to improve: "It's the attention to detail that makes the difference at this level and obviously my positioning and form underwater are absolutely vital to my performance – I have to make sure I'm nice and centred, that my core's drawn in and that my legs are completely straight. It is amazing to be able to step back and review my swim to see what else I can learn."
Dr. Eder, BMW Group EfficientDynamics expert added: "Swimmers are trying to maximise their underwater performance with the use of minimum energy and this is mirrored in the work that BMW conducts to analyse how a car moves through the air. We are constantly striving to make our vehicles as streamlined as possible, because that's what improves efficiency and performance."