Online avatar-based speed skating debuts for Vancouver Olympics

[From; watch a local news segment on this topic from NBC 15 in Madison, Wisconsin here]

Speed Skating “Avatar” Racers Debut at Vancouver Olympics

By Bruce Winkler on February 5, 2010


February 5, 2010 — The world’s first Virtual Reality Speed Skating avatars will be unveiled by RA Sports, LLC at the Winter Olympics Pavilion in Vancouver, where, onsite participants will race virtual avatars on-line, in real time, against competitors in both Holland and London. The “skaters” will utilize new Speed Skating Simulators equipped with inertial sensors allowing them to race their on screen avatars down the track based on their physical prowess.

“This experience is as close to real competition as it gets!” says Bruce Winkler, company owner and Chief Innovation Officer “The sounds and excitement of the speed skating experience come to life as racers compete with avatars controlled by live oponents halfway across the world.”

Located in Madison, Wisconsin USA, RA Sports is the world’s leading innovator in virtual reality fitness and web racing for indoor exercise and on-line competition in cycling, running, skiing, kayaking and rowing. “Speed Skating is just the newest addition to our extensive line of interactive exercise and sporting events. Each one allows you to build your own avatar, hop on an indoor fitness machine of your choosing, and race against people around the world. In fact, U.S. troops in the Middle East regularly take on-line bike rides with family members back in the U.S.”

“RA Sports virtual reality fitness products are designed to make indoor workouts fun, exciting and keep your fitness equipment from becoming a clothes hanger,” says Winkler. “Whether you are riding against a live competitor, a computer generated avatar, or your own virtual past performance, the total immersion virtual reality experience is a truly unique and engaging way to exercise,” says Winkler.

RA Sports products have been featured in USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Popular Science and CBS News. The technology is on display at the Denver Museum of Science and DisneyLand. RA Sports has participating subscribers in 47 countries.

For additional information: Contact: Bruce Winkler, by email at or on the web at

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