Host Nation Services

In 2009 and 2010 Great Britain played host to the World and European Championships in Gymnastics. London hosted the World Championships at the O2 Arena in 2009 (which will be the venue for this event at the 2012 Olympics) and the European Championships in Birmingham in 2010.

Being a Host Nation physiotherapist means that you are there on behalf of the hosting country to provide immediate physiotherapy treatment at the Competition and Training venues for those participants who for a number of reasons may have come without their own medical support. This brings many challenges not least the linguistic ones (although “ouch” seems to be pretty universal). There is less contact with the athletes and the provision is more reactive than the planned care you provide when you are the Team physio.

Some of the medical team also have further training in paramedic skills and will react in the event of potentially more serious injuries.

The disconsolate looking German whose competition has just finished before it has begun is Fabian Hambeuchen. Fabian is a big star in Germany and often has a film crew with him, he has been World & European Champion and is an Olympic medal winner. He has enough of a sense of humour  to laugh when the physio in the background told him “For you, the war is over…” in a thick German accent.

Jessica Gil Ortiz

The injured gymnast at the centre of a lot of medical attention is Jessica Gil Ortiz. She landed on her head during her floor routine and looked like she ought to have broken her neck (the routine is available to view on Youtube (link below) but don’t watch if you are squeamish).

The collection of physiotherapists and doctors practice for just this eventuality – happily, the gymnast was not seriously injured (beyond a pretty sore neck) and was released from the hospital after an appropriate investigation.

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