“For the last 25 years, we have been Partner to the Paralympic Games. It is a privilege to support to athletes from around the globe, providing technical service expertise to maintain and repair the equipment they rely on to compete when it matters most.”
The International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Worldwide Paralympic Partner Ottobock is marking 25 years of partnership as a 28-strong technical team lands in Sochi to prepare for the opening of five technical service workshops that will provide crucial repair and maintenance to all Paralympians competing at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Sochi 2014 will be the 12th Paralympics where Ottobock has provided technical service. The scale of operations has expanded considerably since the first workshop was set up at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, when just four technicians carried out 350 repairs over the course of the nine-day competition.
As the Sochi 2014 Games approache, technicians from Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, Great Britain, USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon and Switzerland are preparing workshops equipment with specialist machinery and 11,000 spare parts as Paralympians arrive ahead of their competitions.
“For the last 25 years, we have been Partner to the Paralympic Games. It is a privilege to support to athletes from around the globe, providing technical service expertise to maintain and repair the equipment they rely on to compete when it matters most,” said Professor Hans Georg Nader, President and CEO of Ottobock Healthcare.
“Our commitment to the Paralympic Movement has long since become an integral part of our company culture; it is ingrained in our corporate DNA.”
Servicing and repairs will be carried out at five workshops located in the two Athletes’ Villages as well as competition venues for alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey.
Similar to 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 competition as fast as possible.
With just one week to go before the Games begin, athletes arriving in Sochi are expected to visit the workshops to have their equipment seen by Ottobock’s team of technicians as part of essential final preparations for competition. National flag bearers will also visit to have specially prepared flag-holders attached to wheelchairs to enable them to lead out their teams in the Opening Ceremony.
The technical service team is expecting the largest demand for repairs and servicing to come from the ice sledge hockey competition, with specialist welders part of the Ottobock team in Sochi to service equipment damage from this high-intensity sport. In total, Ottobock is preparing to complete more than 3,000 hours of repairs.
“The days before the start of competition are traditionally very busy for the workshops. However, as this is the 12th Paralympic Games where Ottobock has provided technical service, we are well-prepared and ready to see plenty of athletes in the build-up to the Games,” said Peter Franzel, Technical Director, Ottobock Sochi 2014 Leadership Team.
Facts and Figures
• Ottobock will operate workshops in the mountain and coastal Athletes’ Villages as well as in three competition venues – alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and ice sledge hockey.
• Twenty-four seven service is available to all 585 Paralympians from 45 countries as well as members of the Paralympic family.
• Twenty-eight technicians will staff the workshops. They come from Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, UK, USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon and Switzerland.
• The workshops are stocked with nine tons of equipment and 11,000 spare parts.
• Ottobock has been a partner to the Paralympic Games providing technical service since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, and has completed approximately 12,000 repairs for athletes during Paralympic Games since then.