Keeping UK athletes fit for Sydney
Kay Brennan meets the team that provides medical services to élite Olympic athletes
A tall, toned man appears at the door in a tracksuit. He wipes his sweaty palms over the shiny blue bottoms and smiles broadly, disguising his labrador pant. “That was great,” he puffs, tumbling into a large black chair with a sweaty squelch, “much faster than last time.” He has survived the treadmill from hell.
The scene is the recovery lounge at the British Olympic Medical Centre (BOMC). The athlete, a young sprinter, is bidding to be part of the British team at the Olympic Games in Sydney, only a few weeks away. He is a “gold passport holder” for the centre and can use the facilities as often as he likes, free of charge. “It's brilliant here,” he says between mouthfuls of a banana, “this is my third time this year.”
Set up in 1987, the BOMC is the British Olympic Association's (BOA) department of sports medicine and sports