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Heather paralympic story

 Heather’s story

I was lucky enough to be part of the medical team at both the Olympics and the Paralympics. For the Olympics I was working with the football teams in Manchester during training and matches.

However more exciting for me was the opportunity to be involved with the athletics at the Olympic stadium for the Paralympics.

My interest in Paralympic athletics has developed over the last 2 years from working closely with long standing Summit patient Graeme Ballard in his preparation for London 2012. Graeme is a Sprinter who has experience at competing at previous Paralympic games and World Championships.

My role was based at either the warm up track at the stadium treating athletes before and after competition or being part of the field of play team, where we were trackside and would respond to any incidents on the track (a bonus was having front row seats to watch many inspirational athletes break many world and Paralympic records!).

Working with Paralympic athletes there is never a dull moment their enthusiasm and determination was inspirational. They may suffer from cerebral palsy, be an amputee or a wheelchair racer but they all have the same goal to win gold. My challenge was to adapt my treatment techniques to suit them so they got to the start line in the best condition. The reward you get from being able to help those athletes and see them reach their goals on the biggest stage.

The atmosphere in the stadium and the roar of the crowd supporting theses athletes, especially team GB, is like nothing else. However, my highlight of the Paralympics has to be being trackside in the Olympic stadium watching Graeme win a Silver Medal in the T36 100m. Well done, all the hard work and pain suffered (not all from the physio table) was well worth it!

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