CURRENT (AND PREVIOUS) FUNCTION: Matthias Verstraelen obtained his master's degree in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2015. Since 2016 he follows the research master Human Movement Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is also a researcher at the Human Physiology and Sports Physiotherapy Research Group, Faculty LK of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He combines this with his activities in the sports world where he is active as development coach and embedded scientist of Triathlon Flanders.
RESEARCH AREA: Matthias supports the MFYS research group within the Innovative Development Project on cooling clothing in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Specifically within this project, the research group takes care of the preparation and follow-up of the test protocols. During the tests that take place at Flanders Bike Valley, it will be investigated to what extent the athletes produce heat and are able to release and store it at a certain intensity. Linked to this is the extent to which new cooling clothing can be used to better dissipate the heat. At the moment, the project is in the testing phase, the production of the final types of clothing will continue in the spring of 2020.
PRACTICAL APPLICABILITY: Within the marginal gains in preparation for the Olympic Games, attempts are being made to use this clothing as part of the individual cooling strategy of each athlete in the extreme climatological conditions of Tokyo. A good cooling strategy will be indispensable for most athletes to achieve absolute top performance.