It’s hard to imagine the Olympic Games without Bauerfeind. Since 2002, the company has been a firm fixture of the Olympics medical care. Initially, Bauerfeind offered its orthopedic services exclusively to German athletes, treating them in the German House at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City (2002), Athens (2004), Turin (2006) and Beijing (2008).
At the Salt Lake City Games in 2002, German athletes performed noticeably better when wearing Bauerfeind supports, braces and medical grade compression socks.
With the consistent high performance and results, Bauerfeind gained the attention of the Olympic committee. At the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Bauerfeind became the official partner to an Olympic Games Organising Committee, and provided care to athletes from all participating countries. They continued this involvement and role throughout subsequent Games.
Providing athletes with braces and supports
The most recent Summer Olympics brought a new record: Bauerfeind went into action over 900 times throughout the Rio de Janeiro Games, treating and providing athletes with supports, orthopedic orthoses and medical compression stockings. A total of nearly 700 of the approximately 11,000 Olympic athletes in Rio used Bauerfeind products.
The orthotists from Bauerfeind, who are specialists in the area of orthopaedic sports technology, worked alongside staff and physicians from the clinic. After getting a diagnosis from the physician, the team:
- Selected the right product from the case at hand
- Determined the proper size (this is a key factor in receiving the maximum benefit, hence why Bauerfeind supports and braces come in an extensive list of sizing.
- Explained to the athlete and any accompanying team personnel how the medical aid worked
- How to use it correctly
The most common injuries included physical strains, recurrences of previous injuries, and acute injuries. The entire spectrum of typical sports injuries were treated: acute muscular problems, strains, fibre tears, lower back injuries, patellar tip syndromes, ankle sprains, irritations of the Achilles tendon, and torn cruciate ligaments. Key areas across the body included knees, ankles and back.
“Around 30 percent of the products needed were supports and orthoses for the knee and back,” says Jörg Ritzerfeld, Olympics Project Manager and Senior Manager Sponsorship and Sports Marketing at Bauerfeind.
Braces for specific sports:
Knee: More than 50% involved indoor sports (volleyball, handball, basketball), martial arts and track and field.
Ankle: Most were used by volleyball players, hockey players and track and field athletes.
Back: Athletes from a total of 18 different disciplines.
“We noticed the respect and recognition our products now enjoy in the Olympics environment,” says several employees in Rio. “Bauerfeind was in demand like never before.”
German gymnast, Andreas Toba, suffered a torn cruciate ligament at the Rio Games. At the end of his first jump during floor exercises, Andreas landed awkwardly on his knee,
“I knew straight away that something was badly injured,” he said. “It cracked and I couldn’t hold my leg up any longer.”
The extent of the damage was a ruptured cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus.
Just fifteen minutes after the injury he hauled himself onto the pommel horse and achieved the best score out of all the German gymnasts, despite the damage to his knee.
The Bauerfeind orthotist on site recommended he use the immobilising GenuLoc knee orthosis, which secures and protects the joint. With this protection in place, Andreas was able to make his journey home.
Two weeks after injury the cruciate ligament reconstruction was performed along with meniscus suturing. The stabilising SecuTec Genu hard-frame orthosis was worn post surgery.
“I simply would have been unable to return to training so early without the SecuTec Genu.”
Bauerfeind Australia supports many Australian athletes, including Digby Ioane (Previous Wallabies player), Michelle Heyman (Matildas) and Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs).
Sports physiotherapists and other physicians are able to become an official Bauerfeind supplier, and treat sportspeople and other clients with supports, braces and compression stockings. To apply for an account, click here.