WIRED senior writer Robbie Gonzalez wanted to learn the science of jumping in winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and figure skating. So naturally he interviewed biomechanics researcher Jim Richards (Kinesiology & Applied Physiology), who’s worked for many years with U.S. figure skaters.

“To do a quad jump, a skater’s got less than a second to turn their body four times in the air. Gonzalez set out to find out why five … is almost impossible.”

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