BMW builds wheelchairs for Paralympic team

Thursday, August 11, 2016

NEWBURY PARL, Calif. – BMW Designworks, the creative consultant for BMW, has collaborated with U.S. Paralympics Track and Field to design the team’s custom-fit racing chairs. By making 3D scans of the athletes in their wheelchairs and 3D computer models that could simulate changes in aerodynamics, Designworks was able to reduce drag by 15%, making small, subtle changes to the wheelchairs’ frames. The goal isn’t to give the U.S. team fancy new performance-enhancing technology, but to keep the equipment from getting in the way of the athletes’ natural skill, says Brad Cracchiola, DesignworksUSA associate director, in an interview with Fast Company. In 2014, Designworks’ bobsled design helped the U.S. team win three medals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.