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2022 Paralympic Games: Ottobock welcomes a positive outcome

2022 Paralympic Games: Ottobock welcomes a positive outcome
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2022 Paralympic Games: Ottobock welcomes a positive outcome

Ottobock’s technical service helps athletes to succeed

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games have come to an end. Ottobock, a company based in the German state of Lower Saxony and a long-standing partner of the Paralympic Games, provided the technical service once again this year. Over the course of 22 days, the 50-member team was on site at the three locations in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, working to ensure that the athletes could focus completely on their competitions. The employees of the healthtech company finished their work in the workshops on Sunday, when the closing ceremony marked the end of the Games.

The international team made up of technicians from 12 countries carried out almost 400 repairs in total during the Games. Ottobock traditionally offers this service to all athletes and members of staff free of charge and regardless of the make of their respective device. From orthotics and prosthetics professionals (O&P professionals), to wheelchair specialists, to welders – specialists were on hand in each of the three workshops to meet any and all of the para athletes’ needs. They succeeded in finding a solution for every repair, true to their motto: Nothing is impossible. Besides smaller routine tasks such as damaged wheelchair tyres, they also repaired entire prosthetic components – often under extreme time constraints and with nervous athletes looking on hopefully at the workbench. In some cases, special fabrications called for creativity. For example, the technicians created a way for one of the athletes to carry his country’s flag on his own for the first time at the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Beijing. This was made possible thanks to a custom fixture for his forearm crutch.

Peter Franzel, Head of Exhibitions, Sports & Events pronounced success after the team’s three weeks or so in China: “It goes without saying that this year’s Paralympic Games were impacted by the political situation and strict requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic. But despite these challenges, we successfully completed our mission. We served as the official technical service partner for this huge sports event and were there on site to support people from all the nations attending the Games. Ottobock took care of the technical requirements so the Paralympic participants in particular could concentrate fully on their performances and the competitions. The incredible gratitude that people have for this work is something very special in itself. This is our reward, and it also motivates us to continue our tremendous commitment to the Paralympics.”

After the Games is before the Games

Ottobock has now been involved in international disability sport since the Paralympic Games in Seoul in 1988. What started with four O&P professionals in a small service tent has now become many decades of cooperation with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). A successful partnership has developed and will continue on into the future – just last year, Ottobock and the IPC extended their cooperation until at least 2032. The next big event is already on the calendar, with the Paralympic Summer Games being held in Paris in 2024. The medtech company is already making preparations.

Wheelchair fencer Bebe Vio named new Ottobock ambassador

The athletes are also preparing for the next Games. Ottobock ambassadors including Tokyo gold medal winner Johannes Floors and Leon Schäfer, world record holder in the long jump, have already started training again. The team of Ottobock ambassadors is now welcoming a new member, wheelchair fencer Bebe Vio of Italy. As part of a long-term partnership until at least 2024, Vio will be equipped with the company’s products and will receive ongoing technical assistance as she trains and competes in her sport.

Born near Venice in 1997, Vio was five years old when she started fencing. At age 11 she became ill with bacterial meningitis, which led to the amputation of her lower legs and forearms on both sides of her body. Vio fought her way back to life after her amputation and started wheelchair fencing in 2010. Since then, she has won 64 medals, including the singles gold and team silver at the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Daniel Ernst
Public Relations Manager
Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, 
Max-Näder-Straße 15
37115 Duderstadt 
Handy: +49 151 626 743 53