With the media focus of Tokyo 2020 on Australia’s haul of 46 medals and countless other amazing performances, it is important to reflect on the complete Olympic journey and the vital role support teams played in keeping athletes healthy, focused and motivated throughout their four year plus preparation.
While it is the athlete who delivers in the moment, it is the team effort of doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, dietitians, massage therapists, and physiologists providing the best possible health care that ensures the athletes get to the starting line.
Australian Physiotherapy Association National President Scott Willis said that while listening to the stories of the athlete’s competing in Tokyo, one thing that stood out to him was the importance of teamwork and how collaborative care is practiced in elite sport.
“Team based medical staff working together, and in conjunction with athlete’s personal practitioners, to support elite athletes, not just at Olympic and Paralympic Games but in almost all sports is a model that works incredibly well.”
“Our incredible success at the Tokyo Olympics proves yet again that team based care, centred on health experts collaborating and bringing their expertise, delivers the very best outcomes and this should be the standard all Australians can access.”
“The APA has been calling for greater investment in collaborative care for some time. The ‘siloed’ approach to healthcare that we currently have in Australia leaves many people with long delays, out of pocket costs and having to navigate across confusing components of the health system.”
“Every Australian should have access to a system of collaborative based healthcare where experts work together to treat patients and support their physical and mental wellbeing,” he said.
Mr Willis said he looked forward to another two weeks of outstanding and inspirational competition with the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, starting on 24 August.
“The Paralympics are such an important event on the sporting calendar for so many reasons. Not only do they showcase the best athletes in the world but it also plays an important role in promoting inclusion, equality and changing community perceptions of people with disabilities.”
“At the heart of the Paralympics are the ideals of determination, equality, inspiration and courage and we wish all our Paralympians, their medical staff and support teams all the very best in their pursuit of excellence,” he said.
Scott Willis is available for comment
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