Ottobock help Kazakhstani skier dream big10.08.2017
Alexandr Kolyadin gets groundbreaking prosthetic to aid performance
Kazakhstani cross-country skier Alexandr Kolyadin has a newfound hope in reaching the podium at PyeongChang 2018 after being fitted with a new prostheses provided by Ottobock.
Kolyadin visited an Ottobock centre June in Duderstadt, Germany, en route to training camp in Freiburg and Oberhof with his national team. He spent two weeks there, being the first cross-country skier to be fitted with perhaps the most versatile prostheses, known as “the Challenger.”
Kolyadin got into sport at 10 years old. His career initially led him to his country’s national youth team. But he was involved in a car accident in Kazakhstan that led to the amputation of his lower right leg.
It was his former trainer Sergey Revutsky who encouraged him to continue his sport five years ago. Kolyadin quickly picked cross-country skiing back up, reaching Sochi 2014, where he finished 13th in the 20km race. Now, he is targeting PyeongChang 2018 qualification.
His first prostheses for cross-country skiing were made of wood and leather. Ottobock only launched the fitness prostheses Challenger in 2016, specifically for athletes who require very individual options for adaptation and a high level of flexibility, including when making sideways movements for tennis, volleyball and other types of field sports.
As for cross-country skiing: Kolyadin said: “The idea came about because I lost a lot of time on upward inclines with my previous prosthesis. The Challenger lets me put more energy and force on the ski. Above all, it’s much more comfortable to wear.”
His prosthetic socket was also refurbished to bring it up to date.
“This has helped give me considerably better control over my movements,” the 34-year-old said.
Kazakhstan’s National Paralympic Committee (NPC) came to the decision to provide the athlete with support for this high-quality device. Their athletes have been training and utilising the full medical research in Germany.
When considering Kolyadin’s chances in PyeongChang, the NPC’s executive director, Yerlan Suleimenov, acknowledged that competing together with opponents who largely consist of arm amputees can be complicated when it comes to the necessary point conversion process: “In order to win a bronze medal, he would likely need to come first by a considerable distance.”
But Kolyadin is not letting that deter him from his dream in the slightest: “I would absolutely love to win a medal,” adding that his two sons are particularly keen to see their father achieve this success.