Anatomy of a perfect dive
Professor Jill McNitt-Gray, an expert in biomechanics and sports science at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee to help American athletes prepare for success at the 2012 London Olympics.
Among the athletes who have benefited from McNitt-Gray’s research are divers, volleyball players, gymnasts and track and field athletes, including those participating in the long and triple jump, heptathlon and decathlon. The individual Olympic springboard and platform diving competitions will take place Aug. 3-11.
McNitt-Gray is also director of the USC Biomechanics Research Laboratory, which uses state-of-the-art biomechanical modeling techniques for athletes. In sports biomechanics, scientists use engineering mechanics, biology and neuroscience to develop 3-D dynamic models of the human body and then use experimental and simulation results to determine the internal and external forces at work on athletes’ bodies when they maintain balance, change directions, sprint, flip or land.