Timely repairs keep the paralympians competing
03 September 2012
The Ottobock Healthcare technical service team reports completing 277 equipment repairs for 204 athletes on day three of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
On day three of the competition alone, 220 wheelchairs, 37 prostheses and 20 orthoses repairs were made by the technical service team. Repairs included replacing a cracked carbon fibre running blade, pictured here.
Ottobock Healthcare, official prosthetic, orthotic and wheelchair technical service provider to the 2012 Paralympic Games, is working behind the scenes in a 6,500 ft2 workshop in the Paralympic Village and nine other workshops next to the field of play at nine competition venues, 80 Ottobock technicians are responsible for repairs during the games.
Paralympians from 115 of the competing countries have visited one of the Ottobock workshops since it opened on 22nd August. On day three of the competition alone, 220 wheelchairs, 37 prostheses and 20 orthoses repairs were made by the technical service team. Athletes competing in wheelchair tennis, athletics and archery required the most support throughout the day.
“It’s always a pleasure to see someone come through the door unable to compete and to leave, with the problem solved to continue uninterrupted with their training and competition programme,” said Ottobock technical director, Ken Hurst. “Today we were able to do this for 204 athletes, including a Paralympic sprinter who had a crack in his running blade. This job was particularly rewarding for the French technician assigned to the job as he knew the athlete.”
Ottobock is supporting all 4,200 competing athletes with a team of 80 expert prosthetists, orthotists and wheelchair technicians, including 12 welders. The team of technicians come from 18 countries and speak more than 20 languages. Like the services provided by mechanics during a pit-stop in motor racing, members of Ottobock’s technical service team are located next to the field of play and are responsible for the repair and maintenance of equipment damaged during competition.
Ottobock has been a partner to the Paralympic Games providing technical service since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, and has completed approximately 10,000 repairs for athletes during Paralympic competition since then. The record for most repairs completed in a single Games were set at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games where technicians worked more than 10,000 hours completing 2,188 repairs.