3D printing helps biathlete gain competitive edge at Sochi Paralympics

A staple of the winter Olympics, the biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Mastering both of those disciplines sufficiently to compete at an international level is no mean feat. Achieving that while living with spina bifida is truly remarkable. Despite his condition, German athlete Martin Fleig started practicing this sport at age 9. Although he was "initially disheartened," his mother encouraged him to keep at it. Now 24, Fleig is headed for Sochi, Russia, where he will compete in the 2014 Paralympic Games. In addition to his tenacity and fortitude, Fleig will be bringing a custom-designed sit ski developed specifically for his anatomy by the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM (Freiburg, Germany) and industrial and research partners working within the Snowstorm project.

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