Longevity at the Paralympic Games, through medicine and technology
Of the 60 Mexican nationals who competed in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, five are 50 years or older and 10 are between 40 and 49 years old. While at 35 the traditional athlete is considered to be in the final stages of his career, it is common to see Paralympic athletes competing at the best level beyond 40 thanks to the peculiarities of their workload in their training, their skills, discipline, medical support, and the sophistication of technology in sports equipment.
The oldest Mexican athletes at Tokyo 2020 are swimmer Patricia Valle and discus thrower Estelas Salas, both 52. Claudia Perez (table tennis), Edgar Navarro (athletics) and Patricia Barcenas (weightlifting) are 50 years old. Among those who won a medal on August 31 are Nelli Miranda, 49 (swimming), Amalia Perez, 48 (weightlifting) and Arnulfo Castorina, 43 (swimming).
“Unlike traditional sports, Paralympic athletes stay more active, even when they are no longer able to improve their records, because no program can get them to work. They try to extend their sporting life, even if they are not yet at the top or at the results that have placed them in the elite of world sport. , but as long as they can remain among the finalists and still continue to receive support and scholarships. », He declared to this newspaper. Federal sports specialist, Juan Manuel Rotter.
Dr Edgar Arriaga, a sports doctor who worked for seven years as chief of medical services at the Nuevo Leon Sports Institute, told El Economista that athletes, Paralympic and traditional, have workloads with different characteristics, which helps adapt athletes to extend their careers.
“The friction positions that can affect other traditional athletes appear to be different in Paralympic athletes. Talk, for example, of positions of continuous impact (as in) a diver, a gymnast, with other influencing factors such as size, strength and power ”.
And the specialist adds: “All this combination of sports externalities can lead to more friction and wear. In Paralympic patients, it should also be taken into account that, in many of them, sports equipment can also promote them a little more and the intensity of sport (….) The high activity in their sport is also high .
In addition, technology has made it possible to increase the performance of Paralympic athletes, to the point of sparking a debate on the competitive advantages offered by the use of prostheses on both legs, but at the same time, the advancement of technological tools has made it possible to extend sporting careers, both among traditional athletes and at the Paralympic Games.
“A lot of things have been added to the equipment of the teams, to improve performance, but also to prevent injuries. Technology has played a vital role in extending his sporting life, ”said Arriaga.
Nutrition and physiotherapy are sciences that contribute to the maintenance of the physical condition of athletes, however, Aryaga noted that the main thing is that the athlete acquires a specialty that directs him towards professionalism, that is, say “Learn to eat, knowing that you have to generate good training, and not quantitatively, you have to Document and study your subject, not just rely on the training plan developed by your coach; continuing athlete training leads to success in terms of education and a better understanding of one’s sport.
El medico del deporte explained that no es posible establecer un rango de duración de la carrera de un atleta paralímpico, pues “hay muchos factores que pueden come to condicionar el abandono de la disciplina, no necesariamente el disciplina, no necesariamente el”, factor comdó la lagico To work.
It can be costly for athletes to maintain a good athletic standard, especially for those who do not reside in Mexico City and do not have a sponsor, as the facilities offered by Conadi and the Mexican Paralympic Committee are centralized, as their operation is limited to the country’s capital.
“A lot of them, who work in other countries, sometimes have a harder time finding that kind of support and you have to invest in it. They will have to subtract from their scholarship the fact that they will have to spend on treatments or on a nutritionist. A physiotherapy session can cost them dearly. It’s between 200 and 500 pesos and they have to do it three or four times a week. Arriaga noted that the feeding sessions, which are certainly also one session every two weeks, are also high.
The Olympic Sports Medicine Clinics, headed by Dr Eduardo Arriaga, serve paratriathlon player Brenda Osnaya.