Ottobock’s technicians supporting the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games had to think on their feet last week when they were called on to create a piece of equipment that would allow Paralympians to carry the torch at the opening ceremony.
Ottobock’s technical services manager Russell Pizzey took on the unusual assignment, creating torch holders for the Paralympians Sophie Christiansen CBE and Ali Jawad.
Pizzey was contacted by the organisers of the event who were looking for somebody to make bespoke torch holders that could be attached to Christiansen and Jawad’s wheelchairs, providing a safe solution that would enable them to move onto and around the stage while still holding the Paralympic torch. Pizzey delivered the handmade torch holders to Stoke Mandeville just hours before the ceremony on Friday.
Pizzey has provided technical services at three World Para Athletics games, most recently at London in 2017. He was also a part of the Technical Service team at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in 2014 plus both the Invictus Games in London and Orlando.
For 30 years, Ottobock has been at central to the equipment side of the Paralympic Movement. It is is the longest serving partner of the Paralympic Games and has been offering its technical service since the 1988 Games in Seoul.
Similar to the services provided by mechanics in motor racing, Ottobock is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the athletes’ equipment and ensures that they can get back into the competition as quickly as possible. The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games will be the 15th time that Ottobock has provided Technical Services.