Switzerland with the Canadian para-alpine ski team

I’ve been in Saas Fe for almost two weeks now with the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team as they train for the upcoming world cup ski season. This is my second year working with the team. My role is to provide physiotherapy treatment in the afternoons/evenings for all the athletes as needed, provide first-aid and medical support while we are training on-hill, and to communicate (via radio) to the coaches and other staff before our athletes ski down the course to make sure the course is clear, the coach doing video is ready, and the timing system is ready.
Our day starts at 6am, with a quick breakfast at our hotel and then to the lift system beside the hotel. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the top of the mountain and onto the glacier (2 separate gondola rides and a 10 minute tram ride through the top part of the mountain). Training consists of 3 or 4 hours of technical skiing for the athletes. I stand at the top of the run for the whole session (there have been some very cold days up top) because I have to be able to snowboard down (I get a lot of good natured ribbing about being on a snowboard as opposed to ski’s) in case any of our athletes get injured or have other issues I can address. Every day there are wipe-outs, but fortunately there has been nothing too serious with our athletes yet. There are many international teams training here as it is a prime training ground for teams in preparation for the upcoming season. We’ve been training mainly with the Dutch Para-Alpine Ski Team, but there are many other teams here as well as 3 Canadian able-bodied teams.  When training is done on-hill, the whole team heads down the mountain to have lunch back at the hotel. After lunch I coordinate treatment times with our strength trainer as he begins dry-land training with the athletes (balance, core fitness, strength training, stretching, etc) and I start physio treatment on the athletes who need it.  The athletes then watch video taken during training that same day. At 6pm, we have a staff meeting (there are 9 of us: 4 coaches, 2 ski technicians, a strength coach, a sports psychologist, and myself) followed by a meeting with all the athletes (8 of them). Then it’s dinner time until 7:30pm and then some rest for us all until bedtime. This daily pattern has continued throughout the camp with a day off every 4 to 5 days or so depending on the weather. We’ve also managed to squeeze in a ping pong tournament, 2 games of ultimate frisbee, glow bowling and a few meals in the village nestled in the valley here. It has been fun, but I look forward to returning to my own bed, being with my family again, and treating in my own physiotherapy clinic in Vernon, BC!

 

PHYSIOTHERAPY

MASSAGE THERAPY