BMW Unveils Team USA Racing Wheelchair for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

News | April 27th, 2016 by 4
BMW racing wheelchair RIO 2 750x500

BMW of North America, the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), today announced the official unveil of its new racing wheelchair …

BMW of North America, the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), today announced the official unveil of its new racing wheelchair designed for the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Team. BMW designers are working in close collaboration with Team USA athletes and coaches to design and develop the racing wheelchair which is set to make its competitive debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Developed by world-class designers and engineers, the new racing wheelchair draws upon the aesthetics and engineering of the automaker’s signature vehicle design. Encompassing BMW’s core competencies and fundamentals, the wheelchair features modernized aerodynamic efficiencies, carbon fiber material, a complete chassis redesign and a personalized approach for customized athlete fit.

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“Working on this project has been a truly rewarding experience for my team and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last year and half with these athletes and their coaches,” said Brad Cracchiola, Associate Director, BMW Group DesignWorks. “From fittings and immersion sessions, to data analysis and real-time testing, we had the unique opportunity to build a fully customized racing device. We’re eager to complete the final product and look forward to watching Team USA compete.”

“Our partnership with Team USA over the last six years has been a remarkable journey, but the most rewarding part of it all has been the direct collaboration with our athletes,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “Their dedication to their sport and their fans is unprecedented, and as a company dedicated to performance and mobility, this has been a project that felt right at home for us and we’re honored to be part of it.”

BMW racing wheelchair RIO 2 750x499

With the help of Team USA athletes, BMW will work over the next few months to continue to adjust and improve the wheelchair in the lead up to the Games. The final fleet of wheelchairs for use in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is slated to be delivered to the U.S. Paralympics track and field racers in the summer of 2016.

BMW has been implementing its resources to advance the training and performance goals of Team USA since signing on as a sponsor in 2010. The BMW racing wheelchair is the company’s fourth technology transfer project, following the delivery of a two-man bobsled which helped Team USA overcome a 62-year medal drought at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

4 responses to “BMW Unveils Team USA Racing Wheelchair for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games”

  1. Sports&SocialChange says:

    Fantastic effort and great to see the support for Paralympic / Adaptive Sports!
    How do we get this amazing technology to trickle down to the grassroots wheelchair racing community? Low cost racing chairs that look this cool would really help to grow the sport…

  2. […] BMW of North America, the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC … wheelchair which is set to make its competitive debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Developed by world-class designers and engineers, the new racing …… Read More […]

  3. Brad says:

    I think this is great. I really do. However… I sure hope BMW is also supporting other countries too. Granted, top racers are typically sponsored with the current chairs they are in and would (I’d imagine) be reluctant to change chairs due to the effort/time/trust built with dialing them in to their exacting needs…

    I can’t help but think that this Paralympic support would be a greater bennifit for those in less well funded nations/programs. But my depth of funding levels is not deep enough to fully comment. And of course, the logistics of having the right people in certain countries may be an issue… But it’s also common to order chairs online or to work with manufactures so to get the chair with the right configurations…

    With that said… The northern part of North America, have a bunch of equally talented and dedicated Canadians that would love this opportunity.

    Great to see innovation in the chair and pushing the sport to grow. But exactly with the other comment, let’s make it accessible to the grassroots. Hopefully we can see this growing to hand cycles too…

    Cheers, B

  4. […] athletes on the USA Track and Field team will compete at the Paralympics this September in custom carbon-fiber wheelchairs dreamed up by Designworks, BMW’s Southern Cali­fornia design firm. The team has worked with […]

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