12 March 2014
ORTEC HELPS DUTCH GOLD RUSH AT SOTSJI
KNSB (Dutch Speed Skating Association)
Speed Skating is a major sport in the Netherlands. The KNSB has over 24,000 members and the country leads the world when it comes to the elite end of the sport.
The KNSB obviously wanted the best achievable medal haul at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sotsji. The complication was that the 18 male and 18 female starting positions across the speed skating events could be filled by a maximum 10 skaters.
So the KNSB had to prioritize the distances/starting positions where the probability of success was highest. This also meant having to compare performances at different distances (e.g. a 500m sprinter with a 10,000m skater).
Bertus Talsma (ORTEC Sports) and Gerard Sierksma (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) developed a statistical model that the KNSB selection committee first used in 2009. By 2014 the KNSB knew the model could provide a robust factual basis for its highly sensitive decisions.
In fact, the entire skater selection procedure for the Games was one of the topics in Bertus’ thesis, for which he was awarded his PhD in November 2013.
For further information visit: http://www.thiscomplexworld.com/ortec-helps-dutch-gold-rush-sotsji/