Verdict is In – Olympic Host Medical Services declared the BEST EVER!

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.

With the “lull” between Games, members of the International Olympic Committee are packing up and leaving town and members of the International Paralympic Committee are arriving and preparing for their Games to begin.

Before leaving Vancouver, the head of the IOC medical commission, Dr. Patrick Schamasch declared that the Host medical team assembled by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jack Taunton was “the best ever”.

From the venues in Whistler, Richmond and Vancouver to the athlete’s village, the International Broadcast Centre, Doping Control stations and Live City sites in downtown Vancouver many of the talented members of the SportMed Network were on-site and fully engaged in helping Vancouver host the world’s best athletes, media, support staff and spectators during the just successfully concluded 2010 Olympic Winter Games – and many will continue their roles with the start of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on Sunday.

Physiotherapist Paige Larson, was the Venue Medical Supervisor for Figure Skating at the Pacific Coliseum and the Trout Lake practice site while Dr. Jim Bovard, a North Vancouver-based sport physician was the Skating’s Venue Medical Officer. Interestingly, they worked alongside Dr. Jane Moran, a Victoria-based physician who has been the International Skating Union’s Medical Delegate for the past decade.

Physiotherapist Denise Moresby served as the Deputy Venue Medical Supervisor for Figure Skating.  As the second in command for physiotherapy, she was responsible for rink-side and medical centre care for all figure skating athletes, coaches, media and even spectators at both the practice rink and competition rink. This was her fourth major Figure Skating event as host medical support.

Dr. Jeff Pervis was the Venue Medical Officer for Freestyle Skiing at Cypress. Jeff has worked at World Cups with the Canadian team for 20 years, and joined the team in Torino in ’06 as part of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s medical contingent. While Physiotherapist Wendy Epp joined Jeff as the Venue Medical Supervisor at the Cypress venue, Exercise Physiologist Kate Milne worked in Doping Control at the women’s freestyle events at Cypress.

Over at the Vancouver Olympic Centre where Curling took place, Venue Medical Officer Dr. Navin Prasad was joined by Allan McGavin colleague physiotherapist Trish Hopkins who served as Venue Medical Supervisor.

Acupuncturists were included as members of the host medical team and Sonia Tan was pleased to be selected to work in the Polyclinic. As a retired national elite group rhythmic gymnast she has had the honor and privilege of representing Canada and understands first hand the hard work and the pressures of international competition.

Dr. Rob Lloyd-Smith and physiotherapist Ron Mattison both from the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre at UBC, served as Venue Medical Supervisors at Canada Hockey Place where physiotherapist Teri-Lynn Fraser was Venue Medical Supervisor.

Victoria-based physiotherapist Sue Lott also worked with ice hockey and was stationed out at the UBC Thunderbird Area. During the Paralympics Sue will be serving as a physiotherapist at the polyclinic in the athlete’s village. At UBC, Sue worked alongside physiotherapist Nadine Plotnikoff, who was the Venue Medical Officer.

Physiotherapist Timberly George served as the Venue Medical Supervisor for the Richmond Olympic Oval and Dr. Jeff Coleman was the Venue Medical Officer. Timberly reported that the Oval essentially had “a mini-hospital to serve both athletes and any spectators who required immediate care.” Serving the athletes, Timberly worked alongside  Dr. Coleman and collectively they were in charge of 5 sport med docs, 5 sport physios (certificate and diploma holders), 3 athletic therapists, and a paramedic team. “During competition times there were two teams of 3 (1 doc, 2 therapists) at either end of the field of play to act as first responders. In spectator medical we had a nurse and 3 roving first responders and another paramedic team ready to respond at all times.”

Emergency physician Dr. Sam Gutman was charged with looking after the media at both the International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre along with the LiveCity Downtown and Yaletown venues in Vancouver. That meant 24/7 coverage as of January 29thwith a team of 17 MDs about 20 First Responders and 50 or so RNs, 2 teams of BCAS paramedics. The 2 media clinics with 4 beds each saw about 35-40 patients per day for general medical problems. At the constantly thriving Vancouver LiveCity sites Sam oversaw another team of First Responders, MD’s and RNs through his company “Rockdoc – and were well set-up to serving fans who attended those concert venues and needed medical attention.

Optometrist Kevin Loopeker worked at the Whistler Polyclinic providing optometry services, which was one of the most widely accessed services during the Games.

Over at the Whistler Sliding Centre, Victoria-based Dr. Cara Ewert served as the Venue Medical Officer and covered the Luge events. Cara and her team definitely had their hands full at this venue and all are to be highly commended for their response to the crashes and trauma that is associated with this fast and often dangerous sport.

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