Bath, England
Sunday 25th November 2012
I am exhausted!  I don't often say that, but without doubt I will sleep well tonight!  However, this weekend has, even by my standards, been completely epic & spent in the company of some truly amazing, yet very personable people - 17 of them Team GB medallists at the London 2012 Olympics.

Earlier in the week, I had been asked if I would be able to spend the weekend in Bath, providing the sports physiotherapy cover for Chrissy (Ohuruogu) & Mo (Farah) whilst they took part in the filming of the TV classic, Superstars.  Now, I may be showing my age here somewhat, but I remember growing up watching Kevin Keegan, Bill Beaumont & the likes going head to head on a Saturday evening on the BBC, so this was a no-brainer!!

Here, assembled on Friday night in the rather wet & wintery town of Bath, were 2 teams of 8 guys & 8 girls, ready to do battle over the course of the weekend.  The guys line-up consisted of Mo Farah (5k & 10k, athletics), Robbie Grabarz (high jump, athletics), Alastair & Jonathan Brownlee (triathlon), Michael Jamieson (swimming), Anthony Joshua (boxing), Andrew Triggs Hodge (rowing) & Pete Wilson (shooting).  Going head-to-head in the girls camp were Christine Ohuruogu (400m, athletics), Nicola Adams (boxing), Lizzie Armitstead (road cycling), Laura Bechtolsheimer (dressage), Gemma Gibbons (judo), Helen Glover (coxless pair, rowing), Kath Grainger (double sculls, rowing) & Jade Jones (taekwando).  In addition, Becky Adlington (swimming) joined anchor, Gabby Logan, & co-presenters Denise Lewis & Iwan Thomas to mentor & review the action.

After a reception, dinner & an early night, the bleary eyed contenders stumbled onto the bus on Saturday morning with sleepiness tempering the genuine excitement at being invited to take part.  However, as the early morning gloom gave way, more, slightly brighter, gloom, the good-hearted competition warmed up.  With each competitor having to take part in the 100m on Saturday & the gym tests this evening (Sunday), another 4 events of the 6 had to be undertaken, with the production team having pre-selected the 2 events each would sit out.  To a man/woman, however, it became very apparent that had they been allowed, each would have competed in all 8.  The 800m, archery, kayak & swimming all took place on the Saturday, whilst today (Sunday) commenced with the 1km cycle & javelin before heading to the Bath Assembly Rooms for the gym test finale.

The atmosphere throughout was incredible, with everyone being cheered on, whilst throwing themselves 100% into the various events & when the action paused for food breaks, retakes, interviews or treatment, the stories flying round the room were so entertaining & engaging that at times it felt like everyone had known each other for years.  Not one person held back or withdrew & as a result, the final 90 minutes programme that will be aired on BBC1 (likely on Boxing Day), will be compulsory viewing for anyone with even a vague interest in sport.

From a sports physiotherapy perspective, I just ended up helping out with any of the guys that needed some input.  The aftermath of the 800m & cycling events was eventful, with athletes not used to such physiological demands, becoming twisted in pain, whilst the javelin & kayak events certainly stressed the shoulders & elbows due to the stress placed on joints not designed for such tasks.

Fortunately, most of the aches & pains will just present as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) over the start of the week, however, a couple needed some closer scrutiny before being given the all clear.  Given that my focus in track & field is often directed elsewhere, it has been a while since I addressed some of the latest research looking at the demands on the shoulder in throwing & overhead sports or the diagnosis of shoulder injury, so here are some papers worth reviewing...particularly if you are welcoming back a Superstar to their more usual training centre this week!!!

Demands on the Shoulder

Shoulder Injuries & Subsequent Diagnostic Tests

Rehabilitation of Shoulder Injury

Brumitt, J. & Dale, R.D. (2009).  Integrating shoulder & core exercises when rehabilitating athletes performing overhead activities.  N Am J Sports Phys Ther; 4 (3): pp132-138

I hope the papers are of value & in the meantime, set your TV recording devices for Boxing Day evening on BBC1 & enjoy the Superstars...I certainly did!!!!
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