Ottobock’s Technical Service Team showcases Paralympics Games services

20 April 2012

Ottobock Healthcare has kicked off its final phase of preparations for its role as Official Prosthetic, Orthotic and Wheelchair Technical Service Provider for the London 2012 Paralympic Games by providing technical support to the first of five test events, starting with Wheelchair Rugby.

Ottobock is responsible for repairing wheelchair damage that characterises this hard-hitting sport.
Technical service was provided from an in-venue workshop for the four teams competing. A mobile unit that has been specially fitted out for the London 2012 Paralympic Games was in place from 18-19 April including equipment and tools for welding, wheel repairs and tyre replacements.
For the London 2012 Paralympic Games Ottobock will operate a 6500 square foot workshop in the Athletes’ Village with smaller repair centres at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Village and at Egham Rowing and Canoe Sprint Village as well as nine competition venues. These facilities will be fully equipped with the machinery and parts to solve any problems athletes have with their running blades or wheelchairs, as well as any other equipment they use to compete.
Like the services provided by mechanics in motor-racing, Ottobock is responsible for the repair and maintenance of equipment used by Paralympians and getting athletes back into the competition as fast as possible.
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 Games since then. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Ottobock will support all 4,200 competing athletes with a team of 80 wheelchair technicians, prosthetists and orthotists, including 12 team members specifically dedicated to welding. 
Russell Pizzey is one of two British welders forming part of the 12-strong specialists in the Ottobock Technical Service Team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Ottobock Technical Service Team in Action  -- Ken Hurst fixes rugby wheelchair
Ottobock Technical Service Team in Action --
Ken Hurst fixes rugby wheelchair

“High impact sports such as wheelchair rugby keep us very busy, and we are prepared for a lot of welding and quick tyre changes at the London 2012 Paralympic Games,” said Russell Pizzey, part of the Ottobock Technical Service Team. ‘The test events provide an important opportunity for our teams to familiarise themselves with the environment and venues where they will operate during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. We will also be providing technical service for the Boccia, Paralympic Archery, Wheelchair Tennis and Paralympic Athletics test events.’

He will be joined by volunteer Phillip Calthorpe, from Colchester. Phillip will bring Tungsten Inert Gas (T.I.G) welding experience to the team and will be responsible for repairs such as fixing damaged aluminium tubing of basketball wheelchairs. Mark Woolsey, a Prosthetist from Burton is also volunteering. Mark worked for Ottobock at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and brings a wealth of professional experience to the team. Currently working as a prosthetist at Dorset Orthopaedic, he will be responsible for prosthetic, orthotic and wheelchair repairs throughout the Games. A Thai and Malay speaker, he will also add to the many languages offered by the Ottobock Technical Service Team.

The 80 strong Ottobock Technical Service Team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games will comprise prosthetists, orthotists and wheelchair technicians from all over the world including 16 from Great Britain.


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