US Ski, Snowboard Team uses high-powered lights to disinfect training areas

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SALT LAKE CITY — For Olympic athletes, staying healthy can make the difference between medaling and coming home empty-handed.

One team is adding to their germ-fighting arsenal in an uncommon way — using an old technology in a new way to stay healthy.

As the pandemic rages on, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team is doing all it can to reduce sick days.

"Losing days for athletes, in terms of even the common cold and or the flu, really detracts from their ability to prepare for their competition season and/or compete," said Gillian Bower, high-performance director for U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team.

While training to compete in the Beijing Olympics in 2022, they're using a high-power disinfecting system, with a unique approach.

"We're sharpening our battle ax against a really tough opponent," said Grant Morgan, co-founder and CEO of R-Zero Systems.

They're using high-powered light to kill germs.

Morgan started R-Zero, based in Salt Lake City, which makes a whole-room ultraviolet light disinfection system called Arc.

"The name of the game is risk reduction," Morgan said.

The hospital-grade UV disinfection eliminates pathogenic risk on surfaces and in the air, according to Morgan.

"You press a button, leave the room, and it takes about three to five minutes, but we can disinfect large spaces, small spaces," he said. "UV-C is light that is at a specific wavelength, and it's actually been around for over a hundred years. It will disinfect or inactivate any kind of mold, fungus, virus or bacteria. In fact, there are no known UV-C resistant microorganisms on the planet."

He said it cleans 1,000 square feet in seven minutes or less.

Morgan said they'll likely apply the technology to home use.

"They might look like decorative wall sconces or canned lighting that's architectural in nature," Morgan said.

For now, they're using the light to keep athletes on their game.

Soon, two Arc machines will be on their way to Beijing to prepare early for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

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Heather Simonsen
Heather Simonsen is a five-time Emmy Award-winning enterprise reporter for KSL-TV. Her expertise is in health and medicine, drug addiction, science and research, family, human interest and social issues. She is the host and producer of KSL-TV’s Positively 50+ initiative.
Sloan Schrage


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