Bauerfeind in high demand in PyeongChang

2018 Winter Olympics

For the fifth time, Bauerfeind AG based in Zeulenroda, Germany, has served as a partner to the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games in PyeongChang. And the numbers for the 2018 Winter Olympics speak for themselves: Bauerfeind’s services were used by just under 500 athletes from 51 countries. Bauerfeind supports, orthoses, compression stockings, and foot orthoses came to the aid of athletes on more than 900 occasions. The competitors sought out the products for acute injuries, in case there was a flare-up of an old problem or for various signs of overstraining. Supports and orthoses for the knee and back were in particularly high demand.

Bauerfeind was the only manufacturer in the world to supply supports, orthoses, medical compression stockings, and orthopedic foot orthoses for the 2018 Winter Olympics. More than 5,000 products were sent to the polyclinics in the two Olympic Villages before the start of the Games, to ensure that all products would be available in all sizes until the end. As part of the services, Bauerfeind teams were on site at the polyclinics from February 1 to 25. The orthotists – who are all specialists in the area of orthopedic sports technology – selected suitable products for injured athletes, based on a medical diagnosis and in coordination with the team physicians and physiotherapists. They assessed what size of product was required, and explained to the athletes how the product works and how they should wear it. The services also included customized fitting of orthopedic products, such as adapting a knee orthosis to cater for an athlete’s required range of motion and their particular sporting discipline.

The cases treated included a wide range of typical sports injuries: strains, sprains, bruising, torn ligaments and broken bones. “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.

Athletes from all 15 disciplines sought the help of Bauerfeind, led by ice hockey, freestyle skiing/snowboarding and Alpine skiing. Just like in Sochi in 2014, many injuries happened in the young Olympic disciplines. Falls on the mogul slope, in the halfpipe or on the slopestyle course were a daily occurrence in Bokwang Phoenix Park, where the freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions took place. Around 80 freestyle skiers, ski cross racers and snowboarders required medical aids from Bauerfeind, in most cases for their knees, backs, hands and shoulders. Injuries treated included torn cruciate and lateral ligaments, injuries in the area of the lumbar spine, dislocated shoulders and broken hands.

A total of just under 500 athletes from 51 countries relied on Bauerfeind’s services. Traditionally, the majority of athletes seeking assistance were from the host country as well as from China, Switzerland, Sweden and Canada. However, athletes from the smaller teams received treatment too, such as Alpine ski racers from Luxembourg, Lebanon and Morocco as well as a slopestyle skier from Mexico and a cross-country skier from Togo.

Foot orthoses and compression products

Thanks to two grinding machines on site, Bauerfeind had ideal facilities available to customize orthopedic foot orthoses at both polyclinics. Ice hockey players, cross-country skiers, biathletes and speed skaters are particularly prone to foot problems. They were provided with perfectly fitting foot orthoses for their sports shoes. Compression products such as compression stockings are becoming increasingly popular among winter sports athletes. They exert a certain amount of pressure at precisely defined points on the leg and ensure good blood circulation. Different types of products of different compression classes are worn during training and competitive events, to help the recovery process as well as on long flights.

Dirk Schwager, Senior Orthotist, Team Leader Training/Technical Sports Orthopedics at Bauerfeind, says: “We can observe a growing interest in orthopedic sports products for prevention and regeneration – for avoiding injuries or for aiding a quick recovery. Our products such as foot orthoses and compression stockings can assist these processes.”

Excellent service and a successful partnership

Melf Sönnichsen, Olympics Project Manager for Bauerfeind and Head of Marketing, Bauerfeind Sports, is very pleased the company’s service and explains: “Our technicians backed up the athletes’ trust in them with their professional work on a daily basis. This combination of craftsmanship and highly effective products ‘Made in Germany’ ensured that we managed to achieve our ‘Olympic’ goal for 2018 as well: happy athletes who were able to successfully continue competing with our products, and happy partners who could see that they can rely on us. Our partnership with the representatives of the International Olympic Committee and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee, on whose behalf we were able to treat the athletes, has been very effective right from the start – in the service of athletes from all over the world.