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845 repairs before Paralympics opened

Ottobock technicians worked quickly to attach flag pole holders to over 60 wheelchairs.

Ottobock Healthcare prepares flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony and completes repairs to wheelchairs, prosthetics and orthotics in its first week of operation.

Ottobock Healthcare, Official Prosthetic, Orthotic and Wheelchair Technical Service Provider to the 2012 Paralympic Games, has completed 845 repairs before the Games were declared open, since opening the workshop doors on 22nd August. Following the announcement of the flag bearers in the lead up to the opening ceremony, Ottobock technicians worked quickly to attach flag pole holders to over 60 wheelchairs. 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, Ottobock technicians are responsible for repairs throughout the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The team of technicians come from 18 countries and speak 23 languages and all were required to lend a hand with the influx of athletes ahead of the Opening Ceremony. Each technician was matched to their home country – to attach flag holders to the athletes’ wheelchairs. An emergency team of technicians was also on hand at the Opening Ceremony to make last minute alterations to the flag holders. Four repairs were carried out in the Olympic Stadium, due to the high wind experienced.

“The Opening Ceremony day is always a busy one, and today we were flooded with requests for attaching holders for the flag bearers”, said Ken Hurst, Technical Director, Ottobock International Leadership Team at 2012 Paralympic Games. “Following our experience in Beijing, we came prepared with 55 flag holders, however when over 60 athletes walked through the door, we were required to do some quick thinking and sent our mobile unit to the hardware store to pick up some more material. In the end, it was a great success”.

On arrival in London, Paralympians from many of the competing countries visited Ottobock workshops to have their equipment repaired by the Technical Service Team ahead of competition, following damage to equipment during transit or training. Jobs were carried out by the team of experts including repairs to running blades, sockets, orthotic devices and rugby wheelchairs. Ottobock is supporting all 4,200 competing athletes with a team of 80 expert prosthetists, orthotists and wheelchair technicians, including 12 welders, who have all volunteered their services.

Athletes competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games can all have their equipment checked and repaired by Ottobock experts before or during competition. Like the services provided by mechanics during a pit-stop in motor racing, Ottobock’s technical service team are located next to the field of play 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 competition since then. Records 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, including 183 in a single day.

Picture caption: (Further images available on request) Ottobock Healthcare, Official Prosthetic, Orthotic and Wheelchair Technical Service Provider to the 2012 Paralympic Games, completed 845 repairs before the Games were even declared open. Following the announcement of the flag bearers in the lead up to the opening ceremony, 80 Ottobock technicians worked quickly to prepare and attach flag pole holders to over 60 wheelchairs.


About Ottobock Healthcare
Ottobock is a world leading supplier of high quality, innovative and practical solutions that restore human mobility and help people to rediscover personal independence. Ottobock Healthcare is part of the Ottobock global group of companies established in the UK in 1976. Its wide product range includes high quality prosthetic and orthotic components, wheelchairs, rehabilitation and mobility products available through the country's leading clinics and dealers. With a highly motivated and skilled team of professionals offering expert advice, product sales, service and support, Ottobock solutions enhance the physical comfort, confidence and mobility of the individual. Ottobock aims to achieve the best possible outcome for its customers, combining the latest technology with cutting-edge products and services.

Ottobock is also the Official Prosthetic, Orthotic and Wheelchair Technical Service Provider of the 2012 Paralympic Games. It has been supporting people with disabilities to participate in sports and recreation for more than three decades, and has been a Partner of the Paralympic Games since 1988. Ottobock has been an official ‘Worldwide Partner of the Paralympic Movement’ since 2005. www.ottobock.co.uk

For further press information and images, or to book a behind the scenes tour of the Ottobock workshop in the Paralympic Village please contact:

Charlotte Rowland / Thomas O’Neill
Media Safari
T: +44 (0)1225 471202
E: Ottobock@mediasafari.co.uk
Anna Parisi
Manager – PR and Partnerships
London 2012 Paralympic Games
Ottobock Healthcare
T: +44 (0)7584 162563
E: anna.parisi@ottobock.com

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