Monday, 16 August 2021

Go-ahead for technical service at the Paralympic Games 2021

Julian Napp, head of the Technical Repair Service Center in Tokyo, is adjusting a sports prosthesis / ©Tokyo 2020

"Pit stop" at Ottobock in Tokyo | Invitation to virtual Technical Repair Service Center tours

Tomorrow, 17 August 2021, Ottobock will open the doors of its Technical Repair Service Center at the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Athletes can have their equipment maintained and repaired there free of charge before and during competitions. Because wheelchairs, orthoses, prostheses and other devices will be subject to extreme stress during the games. At the Ottobock Technical Repair Service Center, around 100 technical experts from 24 countries will ensure professional repair and maintenance – regardless of athletes' nationality or the brand of their products.

"Our O&P professionals, wheelchair specialists and welders have a common goal: they create the technical conditions to ensure that Paralympians can concentrate fully on their performance and the competition," says Peter Franzel, Head of Global Events, Exhibitions & Sports at Ottobock. "Especially during the first days, before the Games open, the Technical Repair Service Center will be running at full speed. Our experts check whether all sports equipment still functions one hundred per cent after the long transport to Japan and get it ready for competition. Of course, they also take care of the athletes' everyday devices. Often things are like a pit stop here."

First aid for devices

Ottobock's technical team expects more than 2,000 repairs – 200 on peak days alone. No two repairs are alike: About 4,400 athletes will compete in 22 different sports using various individual devices. The services provided range from simply inflating a wheelchair tyre to complex repairs. For example, specialists will apply utmost precision to adjust a sports prosthesis to the individual requirements. They use laser measuring devices for this.

Fulfilling these tasks calls for special expertise and the ability to work under high pressure – and sometimes also a great talent for improvisation," says Peter Franzel. "The team works in shifts so that we can help the athletes day and night."

Ottobock has been a technical service partner at the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games since 1988. In addition to the main workshop in the Paralympic Village, the company is setting up 14 smaller repair and service centres at the competition venues for "first aid" on-site. We also have a fully equipped mobile Technical Repair Service Center.

A glimpse behind the scenes

Ottobock is inviting journalists to a virtual visit to the Technical Repair Service Center. Peter Franzel and his team in Tokyo will be giving an online tour of the rooms, show current repairs and convey a workshop atmosphere. Please register for one of the following dates via press@ottobock.com:

  • Wednesday, 25 August 2021, at 11 a.m. / CEST (in German)
  • Monday, 30 August 2021, at 11 am / CEST (in English)
  • Thursday, 2 September, at 12 noon / CEST (in German)

The dial-in data will be sent to you in advance. For questions and interview requests, please contact Merle Florstedt and Gesa Liss (see contact details below).

Facts and figures

  • 700 square metres of space in the main workshop for repairs, maintenance and service
  • 106-strong technical service team made up of members from 24 countries
  • 22 languages spoken
  • 18 tonnes of equipment and machinery, e.g. socket routers, band saws, infrared heating furnace, pillar drilling machines and welding equipment
  • 17,300 spare parts, ranging from screws to prosthetic knee joints to wheelchairs
  • 2,000 expected repairs, up to 200 per day
  • Open 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. with 24-hour emergency hotline
  • Total of 23 days service

News from the Technical Repair Service Center

News about the Technical Repair Service Center in Tokyo can be obtained via the "Passion for Paralympics" social media channels (Instagram, Facebook).

Material for download

Merle Florstedt

Spokeswoman and Head of Corporate Communications Europe

+49 5527 848 1771

Merle.Florstedt@ottobock.de

Gesa Liss

PR Manager

+49 30 398 206 223

Gesa.Liss@ottobock.de