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Passion for Paralympics Exhibition

There has been a phenomenal interest in the exhibition

Exhibition receives over 2,000 visitors a day, all keen to discover the technology behind running blades, wheelchairs, handcycles and other equipment used by Paralympic athletes

Ottobock Healthcare, the Official Technical Service Provider for the 2012 Paralympic Games have received huge numbers of visitors to their ‘Passion for Paralympics’ exhibition at the Olympic Park in London. The exhibition has received over 2,000 visitors a day as excitement continues to build around the Games. Designed to raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement and competing athletes, the exhibition will be open on Olympic Park until the closing day of the Games on the 9th September.

Ottobock, in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), opened the ‘Passion for Paralympics’ exhibition to provide an interactive experience to help visitors understand and appreciate the incredible skills and strengths of Paralympic athletes and the technology they use to compete. Amongst the exhibits is one designed to enable visitors to feel the strength required to power a carbon fibre running blade and compare themselves with the Paralympic athletes that use them.

Some of the most popular activities to date range from hands-on experience of the technology behind the Games such as basketball wheelchairs, hand cycles, running blades and equipment used in everyday life such as a wheelchair activity park and touch screen exhibit advising the most suitable sport for disabled visitors. These activities are helping to develop visitors’ understanding of the importance of human mobility both in the context of the Paralympic Games and everyday life.

In addition to manufacturing equipment, Ottobock Healthcare is Official Prosthetic, Orthotic and Wheelchair Technical Service Provider to the 2012 Paralympic Games. 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. On day eight of competition alone, 189 repairs took place in a 6,500 ft2 workshop in the Paralympic Village and nine other workshops next to the field of play at nine competition venues.

“There has been a phenomenal interest in the exhibition. It is fair to say the passion for the Paralympics is spreading as most of our visitors seem to come on the recommendation of others.” said Christin Gunkel, Chief Marketing Officier at Ottobock Healthcare. “We have witnessed a real change in perception and increased understanding of the Paralympics and the issues of mobility and inclusion since the exhibition opened. It provides a very interactive experience and visitors of all ages have been intrigued to learn more about Paralympic sport, the technology behind it and the sheer determination and fitness athletes require.”

1,753 Paralympians from 122 of the competing countries have visited an Ottobock workshop to have their equipment repaired by the technical service team. On day eight of competition alone, 156 wheelchairs, 27 prostheses and six orthoses repairs were made by the technical service team. 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. The team of technicians come from 18 countries and speak 14 languages.

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.

Technical service by the numbers:

Total repairs: Day 8, 189. Total to date 2,582

Number of repairs by type:
Orthotic: Day 8, 6. Total to date155
Prosthetic: Day 8, 27. Total to date 336
Wheelchair: Day 8, 156. Total to date 2,091
Number of athletes serviced: Day 8, 103. Total to date 1,753
Number of countries serviced: Total to date 122

Picture caption: (Further images available on request)
The interactive exhibition at Ottobock Healthcare’s ‘Passion for Paralympics’ exhibition at the Olympic Park in London. The exhibition, designed to raise awareness of Paralympic sport and competing athletes during the 2012 Paralympic Games, will be open until the 9th September 2012.

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.

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

Marc Gossage / Thomas O'Neill
Media Safari
T: +44 (0)1225 471202

Anna Parisi
Manager – PR and Partnerships
London 2012 Paralympic Games
Ottobock Healthcare
T: +44 (0)7584 162563

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