Page 20 - Bauerfeind life international_02_2012

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magazine 2012/2
You have already been involved in five Olympic
Games. What was it like for you in London?
PD Dr. Wolfarth:
There is always something
particularly special about the Olympic
Games. It was certainly rather easier for us
to work in London than in Beijing, purely
because there was no language barrier. In
Beijing, we Europeans also had to cope with
the time difference, a different food culture
Health is the top priority
Interview with Dr. Bernd Wolfarth, Chief Physician for the German Olympic team.
and a different climate. The equipment at the
polyclinic in the Olympic Village once again
left virtually nothing to be desired, and our
cooperation with the Bauerfeind team on
orthopedic care was excellent. Bauerfeind
has also been involved in the polyclinics
since the Winter Olympics in Vancouver –
which is an ideal situation for us. Whenever
we needed anything, we could get hold of
just the right product via the short official
What were the most common medical
PD Dr. Wolfarth:
Infections, as expected.
It is important to differentiate between
injuries, because there are a lot of simple
problems that can be treated directly by
physiotherapists and be brought under
control. Minor muscular injuries are the
most common. Fortunately, we rarely see any
serious injuries.
What goes through your mind when you have
to decide, from a medical perspective, how fit
an athlete is to compete?
PD Dr. Wolfarth:
That is always a difficult
decision, especially in the case of athletes
involved in sports that only receive any
public attention perhaps once every four
years, at the Olympics. If an athlete is
working toward that one particular moment,
and then an infection or a muscular injury
puts him out of action, it’s a personal tragedy
that affects you, too – there’s no question
about it. However, when it comes to making
decisions about an athlete’s fitness for sport
or competition, the athlete’s health is always
our top priority!
Priv.-Doz. Dr. med.
Bernd Wolfarth.
>>> bid apart from the rest was the
outstanding quality of our supports and
orthoses. This is further proof that our
“Made in Germany” products are highly
rated at an international level.”
Working hand in hand
In order to provide athletes with the help
they needed, the Bauerfeind team worked
hand in hand with colleagues from other
departments, such as orthopedists. Once a
diagnosis had been made, the Bauerfeind or-
thotists used this as a basis for selecting the
right product, assessed what size of product
was required, and explained to the athletes
how the product works and how they should
put it on. The products, such as orthoses, were
also individually adjusted to fit if required.
Supports, orthoses, medical compression
stockings and orthopedic orthoses were sup-
plied to athletes on more than 700 occasions
in total.
“Customers in the UK now
know that Bauerfeind is not
a small family company but
an international brand with
a vast amount of experience
and expertise in medical
Bauerfeind products in the spotlight
While the orthopedic support provided to ath-
letes was generally not visible to spectators,
the Colombian triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen
attracted some curious glances as she jumped
her way to a silver medal wearing a MyoTrain
thigh support. The LumboTrain sported by
javelin thrower Linda Stahl, another medalist,
could also be seen by observant spectators as
it showed through her top. “Supports for the
ankle, knee and back were in particularly high
demand,” said Lars Birnbaum, Head of Sport
Marketing at Bauerfeind. To make sure there
would be enough to go round, some 200 extra
products in various sizes were shipped in from
the company’s headquarters in Zeulenroda.
“We had more than 10,000 products here in
total, but in the last few days we naturally did
not want to have to turn any injured athletes
away because the size they needed was not in
stock. We managed to handle this perfectly,”
Lars Birnbaum added.
Pictures:, Bauerfeind, Bauerfeind Benelux/Ridderhof
Elizabeth Crane,
Managing Director
Bauerfeind UK.