PULSE Sports Therapist Fiona at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games: “I worked for ten days over a 3-week period from 13/7 to 2/8. It was quiet when the athletes first started arriving but once they discovered the amazing facilities in the clinic, including on-site imaging (x-Ray, CT scan and MRI) – a rehab room, electro therapy, massage therapy, and ice baths, not to mention a fully equipped gymnasium next door, things started to get very busy indeed.
Due to the high number of therapists on any one shift, and rest days inbetween, it was difficult to get continuity with the athletes, but I did enjoy working with some of them on a few separate occasions, taking part in their progress, supporting with appropriate treatment and getting results. I got a real sense of every athlete, no matter what cultural background, really wanted to take on board all the help they could get on their way to a gold medal! I was lucky to obtain a ticket for athletics one night when I wasn’t working, and was interesting to see the athletes I watched in the stadium, appear in the clinic the next day.
One such athlete was a 110m hurdler, who over-extended his knee at the start and in severe pain with limited movement by the end of race and even worse when I saw him the next day. It was very advantageous to be able to watch the playback of the race together in the clinic to see how it happened, a rare opportunity indeed. After three sessions, his mobility was 100% and very little discomfort, a great result for him and me.
There were many athletes I enjoyed working with, from hockey to athletics to cycling, to name a few. Despite tremendous differences in funding and cultural background, they all had the same thing in common, to make the best of the opportunity, and to win!
The atmosphere throughout the entire games was exceptional, everyone coming together to celebrate sport, have a good time, but keeping their focus on the top prize, a gold medal.
On one particular shift, HRH Earl of Wessex, as the vice patron of the commonwealth games made a trip round to the medical centre and came up to speak to me for a few minutes as I was working on one of the 200m athletes. We included the athlete in the conversation, but think he was rather bemused by it all and didn’t seem impressed he was being visited by Royalty! I was, on the other hand, very happy to speak to him and would have liked a photo, but didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask!
It really was a great experience, not just with athletes, who were all interesting, but to meet many other talented therapists, each with something different to offer. There were massage Practitioners, physios, podiatrists, sport and exercise medicine doctors, all with different experience and quite an interesting overlap in some cases.
As a Sports Therapist it was great to be able to utilise the knowledge and experience I have with high level athletes on a grand scale, working alongside some like-minded therapists.”