Olympics a winner

Physiotherapist Phil Gabel volunteered his services at the London Olympics.
Physiotherapist Phil Gabel volunteered his services at the London Olympics. Contributed

COOLUM's Phil Gabel went to the London Olympics but he saw very few events.

The physiotherapist volunteered his services and applied his renowned skills on some of the world's best athletes but was too busy to see the fruits of his labour.

But despite the long hours and being billeted a good 30-minute jog from London's Olympic Park (jogging was quicker than public transport), Phil loved the whole experience and would gladly do it again.

"What's difficult to apprehend is the actual size - the Oympic park itself was over a kilometre long," Phil said.

And with about 70,000 volunteers and 10,000 competitors from more than 200 countries, the London Olympics dwarfed the Melbourne Commonwealth Games he attended in a similar capacity in 2006.

Phil said, from a professional viewpoint, he was amazed to find many of the top-name African runners had little or no medical support leading into the Games.

"So they were running with injuries that no one knew about," he said.

Phil rated the organisation of the Games and London's transport system highly, though he said behind the scenes there were "lots of overworked, underpaid and over-stressed individuals".

While in London, he managed to fit in an open-top bus tour of London and took his host family to a show in the West End.

Topics:  athletes, coolum, london olympics, physiotherapist



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