Video By: Jayar La Fonatine
On November 15th InteraXon welcomed Canadian Olympic air pistol shooter Avianna Chao and coach Patrick Haynes to our office in downtown Toronto.
Avianna first came to Canada from China at the age of 9, returning 24 years later to compete in the 2008 Olympics with the Canadian team in the air pistol category.
In 2008, when Avianna was profiled in the Toronto Star for her accomplishments in air pistol, the paper described her sport like this:
“She describes her sport as being very Zen, almost like meditation. She notes it’s probably the only Olympic discipline where you’re not trying to go faster, jump higher or lift something heavier. […] It’s not about motion; it’s about the entire lack thereof.”
When Avianna and Patrick came to InteraXon, we wanted to know how brainwave technology – and the affordances of focus and concentration it could provide – might benefit a sport like the air pistol.
InteraXon’s Director of Applied Mind Sciences, Michael Apollo, lead Avianna and Patrick through a number of training exercises during their visit. He spoke on the evening, saying:
“Olympic athletes face the same challenges that we all face. With Avianna and Patrick we explored the BCI’s and brain training programs we can provide here at InteraXon, along with the common challenges high performance athletes face on the field; distraction, anxiety, over-evaluation. I feel Avianna said it best, my mind is my greatest ally, but can also be my greatest enemy.”
Take a look at our video interview with Avianna and Patrick, above. What do you think are some ways that brainwave technology could be used in sport?