By Tom Degun

Ottobock equipment_heads_to_London_18_JuneJune 19 - Otto Bock Healthcare, the Official Technical Service Provider for the Paralympics, has despatched the first nine tonnes of repair equipment and around 15,000 spare parts to London in preparation for its role servicing equipment for the 4,200 athletes at the Games.

The company will send 13.7 tonnes and a volume of 88.2 cubic metres of equipment to the capital from its head office in Germany (pictured top and below) in what will be one of its biggest undertakings to date.

At the London 2012 Paralympics, 80 prosthetists, orthotists and wheelchair technicians from 20 countries will make up the technical service team that will be tasked with ensuring that every athlete has access to equipment repairs and is fit for competition at the second largest sports event in the world.

"The team is very experienced, and their creativity and knowledge means that no job is too challenging," said the managing director of Otto Bock Healthcare UK, Philip Yates.

"Whether it is welding flag holders on to wheelchairs for the Opening Ceremony or mending a prosthetic knee joint, our team will be on hand to help.

"As in Athens and Beijing, more than 2,000 repairs are expected to be made, requiring more than 10,000 hours of work."

Ottobock factory_preparing_for_the_Paralympics_18_June
Otto Bock will run one main workshop in the Paralympic Village which begins operations a week ahead of the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony on August 29 at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

Athletes who need prostheses, wheelchairs or orthoses to participate can have their devices checked and repaired by the Otto Bock experts before they compete.

Nine other workshops located at the various venues are also responsible for repairs during competition.

The wheelchairs used for rugby and basketball are subjected to damaging impact-intensive competition and welding is in high demand throughout the events.

An additional mobile workshop is available for the hand bikers' street race.

Otto Bock itself has been a partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2005 and has been providing technical services for the Paralympics since 1988 in Seoul, the first Games which saw the Olympics and Paralympics take place at the same venue.

Since that time, Otto Bock has completed almost 10,000 repairs for athletes during the Paralympic Games.

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