Jamie Crane Mauzy: The expert’s view
Olympic skier Jamie Crane Mauzy, nicknamed “Mocrazy”, has always been passionate about skiing. From an early age, her life has followed the rhythm of ski and freestyle ski competitions. She even participated in the X-Games. Unfortunately, during a downhill run in April 2015, she took a fall and slipped into a coma for about ten days. Due to brain injury, she became hemiplegic and could no longer speak.
She then underwent significant treatment and decided to return to skiing. Last February, she went with some friends and her boyfriend on a trip to Utah. This Utah Yurt Trip was like therapy for her: complete immersion in total communion with nature. As she says so well: “Out in the wilderness you come alive”. According to her, it was a mix of peace and excitement. It was an incredible feeling that made her understand that she was one of the luckiest people on this planet to still be alive today.
She thought that she could never get back on skis and become a “normal” person again. Through this challenge, she proved to herself that anything is possible. She also points out the fact that the beauty of the landscapes she was able to see in Utah could one day disappear due to environmental and climatic conditions... We can all act to defend the environmental cause.
To take on this challenge, extremely technical equipment was required. To allow Jamie and her friends to focus on their adventure in Utah snowy landscapes, by limiting the factors that may interfere with vision, Essilor® Sun Solution™ provided sunglasses of the ELECTRIC brand equipped with sun lenses using E-Sun™ Polarfun™ technology.
The experts of Essilor® Sun Solution™ explain the technical challenge associated with this feat, during which the lenses performed perfectly. Learn more about the technical aspects and utility of these sun lenses for this type of challenge.
What impact can the environment have on vision during a challenge like this?
The impact of the sun on the eyes is more significant in the mountains than in the plains. In fact, the higher the altitude, the more intense the sun's rays. The reverberation is stronger: the snow reflects about 80% of solar radiation, up to 90% if it is saturated with water. That’s 80 times more than grass and 4 times more than water.
In addition, the atmosphere offers less protection for the eyes: the electromagnetic waves emitted by the sun, such as ultraviolet, are much less absorbed by the atmosphere and ozone as one gains altitude. As a result, solar radiation increases by 10% per 1,000 meters of altitude.
Without appropriate sun lenses, the consequences can be serious, and may even lead to snow blindness: a superficial burn of the cornea due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays. It is a source of sharp pain and causes blindness that can last for several hours. Over time, UV exposure can lead to more serious ailments: ocular lesions, early cataracts or skin cancer around the eye.
One last thing to remember: ultraviolet rays are also harmful when it’s cloudy. So then, protection is important at all times, not just in sunny weather.
What types of glasses are recommended to meet this sort of sports challenge?
For this kind of challenge, lenses had to satisfy a few criteria. In fact, they had to be of at least category 3, i.e., advised in case of bright sunlight, since 82 to 92% of it is absorbed. They had to be light, because Jamie and her friends were on their own for three days. All equipment was meticulously weighed before departure. The lenses of the sunglasses also had to be shock-resistant and impact-resistant because they were put to the test in that environment. Finally, they had to be polarizing: only this type of lens can stop the glare associated with the reflection of light on the snow. They also improve the perception of colors and contrasts.
How is E-Sun™ Polarfun™ the perfect technology to improve vision in these weather conditions?
E-SUN™ POLARFUN™, our polarizing lenses, has got one main benefit: it brings visual comfort & eyestrain reduction by cutting glare (see below). Then clarity and quality of vision are improved thanks to contrast enhancement.
What is the technique behind these glasses?
Polarized filter works as a venetian blind: natural light rays diffused in space vibrate in all directions. Polarizing lenses are designed to cancel out dazzling reflections.
Have you worked closely with Jamie? What did she have to say about using these sun lenses during her downhill ski runs?
It was a pleasure to meet Jamie. Her story is No ordinary and we wanted to support her by providing her the best protection for her challenge. Electric appeared to be the right partner with its sunglasses range mounted with polarizing sun lenses. She afterwards confirmed that polarizing effect is highly appreciated in such snowy environment.
Why did Essilor® Sun Solution™ decide to collaborate with Jamie during this challenge?
We have decided to collaborate with Jamie because of her strong character. Her return to her skis is the demonstration of a special personality: she has shown extraordinary perseverance. Her testimony is important for current and future generations, whether for her tireless perseverance or her commitment to the fight against climate change.
Who is ESSILOR® SUN SOLUTION™?
ESSILOR® SUN SOLUTION™ is the new division of ESSILOR specially focused on advanced sun lens technologies.
We serve all our customers of the sunwear industry, for sports, lifestyle or fashion.