Some of Canada’s athletes have become germaphobes

Paranoid about catching the flu Purell has become part of the athlete’s training ritual.

We take you behind the scenes this month with our timely Vancouver Games Blog, an insider perspective on sport medicine and science headlines, talking points, statistical data and emerging trends.

In today’s Vancouver Sun Mike Beamish details how a few members of Canada’s Alpine team have taken to extreme measures to try and avoid getting sick during the Winter Games

Canadian Olympic silver medallist Sara Renner, making her fourth trip to the Winter Games, is in self-imposed quarantine from her husband, former alpine skier Thomas Grandi, and her three-year-old, Aria.

“I’m a mother and sickness is brought in through my daughter,” she explained. “So I have to be careful. We have a lot of hand sanitizer everywhere.”

“We’re packing Purell,” says two-time Olympian Devon Kershaw. “We’ve got that in a holster, ready to go. We don’t shake competitors’ hands any more. You just say, ‘Good race, see you later.’ It’s kind of sad, in a way, but it’s a necessary step to stay healthy. If you get sick … well, as an endurance athlete, your Games are pretty much over.”

If you think the Canadians are being a trifle standoffish, you’d be correct. They are being pampered by cooks preparing individual, made-to-order meals. Their living quarters, in the gated Black Tusk subdivision, are spacious, comfortable and quiet. Most important, they’re strategically removed from the buggy, noisy, frat house atmosphere of the athletes’ village.

“You’ve got to take a lot of precautions, even if you look like a snob,” Kershaw admits.

Read the full article here.

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