Sue Crafer talks to Sue Crafer, Team GBR's physiotherapist, one of a team of specialists that have helped the sailors prepare for, and through, this Games
mfs - At the last Olympics you worked with the Australians, how is the set-up different this time round with Team GBR? SC - I would say the main thing that is different is that we’ve had two years of consistent input in terms of normal regatta cover. That's pretty similar to the Australian system, but we’ve managed to put into place a system which involves a network of physios being set up so that the sailors can deal with issues that have been identified at a regatta. Conditions are normally diagnosed by myself, and then dealt with at home by top level physios, so that we’ve got the sailing specific injuries and conditions actually dealt with to try and prevent them causing problems in the future. When I first started with this British group we had 70-80 sailors in place, and I would be working from 7am to midnight on what were quite often long-term problems, those we’ve now got under control. So instead of long-term chronic conditions, we can deal with more acute conditions as and when they arrive. It’s more of a maintenance or control programme. With the Australian team, I was asked to join then because I had a sailing background and sailors were not known for their preparation, i.e. stretching. I was brought in because I could understand the sailing background and liase between the coaching system, which tends not to be very sports science related, and the medical people who were controlling the injuries. Then it became more of a role in which I would accompany the team around the world, and I started to educate other physios as to what the sailor's needs were. mfs - How was the Australian system different? SC - The Australian system was a very reactive system and