Passion for Paralympics
Supporting athletes for 30 years
Ottobock has been proactively supporting Paralympic sports for over three decades. We are a loyal partner to the athletes and provide them with our services free of charge. Our passion for the Paralympics is an inherent part of our company’s DNA. We are proud to be able to support so many athletes with disabilities. In keeping with our motto “Passion for Paralympics”, we do everything we can for their mobility.
Outstanding athletic achievements and technical challenges
From the 100-metre dash to wheelchair basketball, and from the biathlon to sledge hockey – athletes at the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games perform amazing physical feats in numerous disciplines. Many athletes at the Paralympic Games use technical devices that are exposed to extreme stress and strain during their competitions. Wheelchairs in particular are often damaged during intense contact sports. In many cases, this can potentially put athletes out of the game. And this is why a technical service team is indispensable at the Paralympic Games. We take care of all the technical details so that Paralympians can focus fully on their performance and the competition.
On duty around the clock: Technical Repair Service Centers at the Paralympic Games
Ottobock attends the Paralympic Games with an on-site, international team of technicians. We set up Technical Repair Service Centers close to the Athletes’ Village as well as in selected training and competition venues. We also have a fully equipped mobile Technical Repair Service Center.
Experienced O&P professionals, wheelchair specialists and welders ensure that equipment is professionally repaired and maintained – regardless of the athletes’ nationalities or the brands of their prostheses, orthoses and wheelchairs. We’re there to help – even if athletes just need support with their everyday devices.
Before the medal rounds begin, our Technical Repair Service Centers work flat out to ensure sports equipment has not been compromised during transport and is functioning exactly as it should.
Pit stop at Ottobock
Our Technical Repair Service Centers are often buzzing with activity. Some people compare them with motorsport pit lanes for this reason. But unlike pit stop mechanics, our team of technicians carries out repair and maintenance work for thousands of top athletes who use custom equipment to compete in various types of sports. Fulfilling this task calls for specialist knowledge and the ability to work under high pressure. Just like the pit stops in Formula One, technical support is provided as a united effort in the Ottobock Technical Repair Service Centers.
2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo
The 16th Summer Paralympic Games will be held from 25 August to 6 September 2020. A total of 4,400 athletes will participate in 22 disciplines and compete in 539 medal rounds. Ottobock will continue the company’s unique history at the Paralympic Games by once again serving as the Official Technical Service Partner in Tokyo and providing the athletes with free maintenance and repair services.
Tokyo 2020 in numbers
- 100-member technical service team
- 26 languages spoken
- 18 metric tonnes of equipment and machinery
- 15,000 spare parts
- 2,000 expected repairs
How it all began: a technical service tradition
Our commitment to the Paralympic Games began in 1988. Four O&P professionals from Australia recognised the need to offer athletes maintenance and repair services for their sports equipment at the Summer Paralympic Games in Seoul. The technicians from Ottobock spontaneously set up a tent that served as a workshop.
Over the years, this improvised workshop developed into a major feature, and we’ve been at all the Paralympic Games ever since. We have also provided our technical service at national and international sports events such as the Commonwealth Games and World Championship events.
At the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, a 100-strong team made up of members from 29 countries was on hand to provide technical services. The technicians put in over 10,400 hours of work, completing 2,408 repairs for a total of 1,667 athletes from 134 countries.
Moving with and for each other
Our longstanding partnership with the Paralympic Games is based on the trust that the athletes place in us. They rely fully on our ability to understand their technical requirements and provide expert repairs. That’s why it’s important to us that we learn from one another and continually develop our expertise from one Paralympic Games to the next.
“Paralympic sports have their very own spirit and feel unlike anything else. It’s all about motivation, not just for people with amputations and disabilities, but rather for society as a whole. It demonstrates that overcoming your boundaries is up to you. You can achieve anything as long as you believe in it and work hard for it. Athletes who achieve top results at the Paralympic Games are role models for society.”
Heinrich Popow, Ottobock Ambassador, multiple Paralympics Champion, World and European Champion
As part of our commitment to the Paralympic Games, we are also involved in training O&P professionals for sports-related services, improving the availability of equipment to athletes in developing countries and raising public awareness of Paralympic sports. We regularly host events and exhibitions that help to gently break down barriers and set aside fears and misconceptions. At the same time, we also foster an awareness of the technology that Paralympic athletes use.
Ottobock supports athletes from all over the world who compete in a wide variety of sports at many different levels. These athletes share our passion for Paralympics and are dedicated to working with us as ambassadors to promote sports and an active lifestyle for people with disabilities.