With the World gearing up for the 2018 Winter Olympics being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, many are looking to the GB Team to better their predecessors at the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, where Great Britain brought home 4 medals, including a gold in the Skeleton, a silver and bronze in curling and a historic bronze in snowboarding.
With Great Britain sending its largest ever team of 59 athletes, now more than ever is a good time to get involved. With a portion of the team being mid to early 20s, it is both inspiring and motivating to see such a wide and diverse range of competitors from all ages. From Emily Sarsfiled competing in the freestyle skiing aged 34 to Rupert Staudinger competing in the luge aged 20, it clearly demonstrates the human body is capable of exceeding its own limits and advancements in training techniques and therapies have played a great role in achieving this.
With the 2014 games in Russia seeing 12% of the athletes incurring at least one injury during the games and 8% an illness, with a further 39% of those injured expected to be unable to participate in competition or training, even the fittest amongst us can still fall. Without innovative training and therapy techniques, these numbers would have been far greater and Great Britain alone could have seen a number of its own athletes unable to compete.
Each Olympian has his or her own sport therapist who has been with them throughout their training and will usually accompany them to the Olympic Games, where their role is just as important in injury prevention as it is in injury recovery. Without this vital member of the GB Team, many of our athletes would be unable to compete or would see an early retirement from the Games.
Sports therapy has often been thought of as cure rather than a prevention but truth be told, it plays a key role in preparing athletes to compete and enhances their performance. It is also believed that only the very best athletes need and have access to such treatments; this is not the case as we here at Elite Health and Human Performance offer specialist and tailored therapies to all. Whether you are a casual runner, county footballer or professional cyclist, the importance of a sports therapist is equal to all.
With Great Britain producing more and more great athletes, now is the time to get involved and find a sport or hobby you enjoy. After all, “Do not let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game!” – Babe Ruth.