Ottobock, the medical equipment company, is preparing for a large-scale operation at the Paralympic Games in London (29 Aug. to 9 Sept. 2012). Some 4,200 athletes are expected at the second largest sports event in the world. In order to ensure technical service for them, Ottobock is sending 78 orthopaedic technicians from 20 countries. The first vehicles are already transporting 9 tonnes of workshop equipment and around 15,000 spare parts from the company headquarters in Duderstadt to the Thames.
The main workshop right at the athletes' village begins operation one week ahead of the opening ceremony. Athletes who need prostheses, wheelchairs, or orthoses to compete have their devices checked there by experts before the competitions.
Nine other workshops located right at the venues are responsible for repairs, which must often be made at short notice. The special wheelchairs used for rugby and basketball are subjected to particularly extreme conditions. Welding is the main area where the experts are needed. Another mobile workshop is available for the hand bikers' street race.
Ottobock has been a cooperation partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2005, works with the German Association for Disabled Sports (Deutscher Behindertensportverband) and has taken part in all Paralympics since 1988 in Seoul. "The team is very experienced and knows that in the end, improvisation is always needed. After all, no athlete should have to drop out because of a technical problem," says Christin Gunkel, who coordinates the Paralympics project for the company. As in Athens and Beijing, more than 2,000 repairs are expected to be made, requiring more than 10,000 hours of work.
Ottobock's commitment goes even further. The company will provide the technical service at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester from May 22 to 26, will present a travelling exhibition in England with the IPC and works with three Paralympics ambassadors: Svetlana Moshkovich, Kelly Cartwright and Heinrich Popow, the German 100 metre gold medal hopeful. For more information on these athletes and technical background, see www.ottobock.com/paralympics.
Ottobock - Technology for People
Otto Bock HealthCare helps people maintain or regain their freedom of movement with innovative products. Founded in Berlin back in 1919, the medical technology company has become a global market leader in the field of prosthetics. Other business units include orthotics, Mobility Solutions with wheelchairs, seating systems and child rehabilitation devices as well as, since 2006, neurostimulation. The activities of the global company with sales and service locations in 44 countries are coordinated from the head office in Duderstadt, South Lower Saxony. Professor Hans Georg Näder, the grandson of company founder Otto Bock, took over the management of the family company from his father Dr. Max Näder in 1990 and carried on as the third-generation CEO ever since.
Further information: www.ottobock.com
Director Corporate Communication
Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH,
Max-Näder-Str. 15, 37115 Duderstadt
Phone: +49 (0) 5527 848 3036 • Fax: +49 (0)5527 848 3360
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