Latest craze at the Games: Therapeutic tape (Olympic diary)

August 5th, 2012 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Serena Williams London, Aug 5 (IANS) It is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that relieves pain, reduces swellings and inflammation, provides structural support to joints and muscles and enhances performance.

Though the tape is a boon for injured athletes, it is also used to treat a wide range of injuries and in post-operative recovery.

It is widely popular as Kinesiology tape and is used by millions, including some of the world’s most famous athletes like Serena Williams and David Beckham. It can be used on any part of the body.

German beach volleyball player Ilka Semmler wears it on her buttocks - in pink. Swedish handball player Johanna Wiberg prefers it in blue from her knee to her groin. British sprinter Dwain Chambers has even worn it with a Union Jack design.

The Kinesio tape, developed by a Japanese doctor over 30 years ago, is worn by just about every athlete at the London Games.

The Kinesio tape was devised by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase. He found that application of the tape following treatment reduced his patient’s pain. The tape is used by both physiotherapists and osteopaths alike as an adjunct to treatment, so that sports people and general public could resume their activities quicker.

The tape became popular after US beach volleyball athlete Kerri Walsh competed at the Beijing Games with lines of black tape on her shoulder. It was no coincidence, Kinesio donated 50,000 rolls to 58 different countries at the 2008 Games.

More than 4,000 people in Britain are now trained in the art of Kinesio taping and many of them look after some of the country’s top sportspersons.

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“Curse of Cameron” plagues British Olympians

Along with wishing good luck for the athletes, British sports fans lately have been hoping that their prime minister, David Cameron, stays away from the venues where British athletes are performing.

The reason: Whenever Cameron has shown up at an Olympic event to root for British athletes, they lose.

What has been dubbed as the “Curse of Cameron” began on the first day of competitions when the prime minister arrived at the cycling road race hoping to see Mark Cavendish win the first gold medal for Britain at the Games. Alas, he only watched the local favourite end up a woeful 29th.

Again Cameron went to the Aquatic Centre, this time to see strong medal prospects Thomas Daley and his partner Peter Waterfield finish fourth to closely miss out on a medal in synchronised diving.

The premier then showed up in the finals for men’s and women’s judo along with Russian President Vladimir Putin. While Putin watched a Russian man win, Cameron helplessly witnessed a British woman lose.

It is not the London Games alone where Cameron and a British sports defeat have walked in hand in hand. He was there at this year’s Wimbledon to witness Scottish tennis player Andy Murray losing to Roger Federer in the final.

Two years ago he had to face the same embarrassment when he was cheering on England against Germany in the 2010 football World Cup only to see the team crash out of the competition.

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Homage to her late husband

To pay homage to her dead husband — a former Olympic judge and renowned diving coach — a retired teacher has joined in as an Olympic swimming volunteer assisting athletes as they compete at the Summer Games.

Gillian Boothroyd, a mother of two, was inspired to apply for the position after a lifetime spent in supporting her husband’s love for diving. He died from a brain hemorrhage in 2008.

He also officiated as an Olympic judge at the Atlanta Games in 1996, Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.

“I’m sure he would have been involved in some way with the Games here. He loved working with the kids and doing the Olympics. He really enjoyed it. Hopefully he would have been offered something poolside,” said Gillian.

“I think he would have been delighted if he knew what I was doing. I couldn’t but be involved in diving. It was his sport and I’m just carrying it on,” she added.

Gill, who taught at Salendine Nook High School in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, said: “He died with his trunks on. He had only been retired for two years. We were looking forward to seeing the diving event together but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing it all and being part of it.”

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