Ice hockey is an incredibly rough sport, and behind the Olympic women who compete for gold is a medical team that keeps them as healthy as possible so they can be their best on the ice for every game.
This week we’re joined by Wayne Lamarre, who will be traveling to Beijing 2022 as an athlete trainer on the team’s support staff. Wayne is the is a Clinical Professor and the Director, Athletic Training Program at the University of New England. He is a Board Certified Athletic Trainer and has served on the medical staff for the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team since 2015. Wayne talked with us about what an athletic trainer does and how their techniques have evolved in the last several years.
In our Atlanta 1996 history moment, Jill tells the story of German discus thrower Ilke Wyludda, whose achievements at these Games are just half of her incredible story.
We have lots of exciting news from TKFLASTAN, including updates on Shiva Keshavan, Adam Edelman, Joe Maloy and Tom Scott.
Also on this episode, we’re celebrating 100 days until the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics — and boy, have they been releasing exciting information! We have Playbooks, medals, officials/volunteer uniforms, among other things.
National Olympic Committees are starting to release kits, and we’ve got the scoop on Canada and Japan’s team clothing.
Sadly, we’ve got a doping confirmation from Tokyo 2020. Guess which country this athlete was from.
And we have some big news from the International Olympic Committee on tickets sale organization from Paris 2024 and beyond.
More about Wayne
- University of New England bio
- Follow Wayne on Twitter
Links mentioned on the show
- Our next Book Club book: Off Balance: A Memoir by Dominique Moceanu. Get your copy through our Bookshop.org storefront and support the show.
- Beijing 2022 medals
- Beijing 2022 officials/volunteer uniforms
- Team Japan kit
- Team Canada kit
Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
Note: While we make efforts to check the accuracy of this transcript, it is machine generated. Please cross-reference it with the audio file.
Episode 211: Olympic Ice Hockey Athletic Trainer Wayne Lamarre
[00:00:00] Jill: Hello fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. I am your host, Jill Jaracz joined as always by my lovely co-host Alison Brown. Alison, hello, how are you?
[00:00:41] Alison: I am very excited!
[00:00:43] Jill: A hundred days out.
[00:00:45] Alison: 100 days out!.
[00:00:46] Jill: Oh, I know.
[00:00:49] Alison: You would think that after the year that we’ve had and all the Olympics that we’ve had that a hundred days out wouldn’t get me, like it got me this morning when I was looking through Instagram and all the a hundred days out posts, but I got just as excited as I always do.
[00:01:04] Jill: It is exciting. And Beijing, of course, in in line with the a hundred days out, released a whole bunch of stuff. So it’s more to get excited about. And we’ll talk about that in our Beijing segment, but first We’d like to give a shout out to our Patreon patron of the week. This week, our silver medal patron is Don Whelan. Don has been a patron for a very long time, and he’s so much fun to interact with on Twitter.
Excellent designer. Don’s got some designs of his sleeve for our Kickstarter promo pins that we are giving to those of us who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign at a certain level.
But we are very excited about that, but Don’s just been a great ally of the show. He and his wife also have a wonderful blog called Sprockets of Fire where they are going through all of the Olympic movies and also making a lovely recipe to eat along with the movie viewing. So you should check that out as well, but thank you so much, Don, for supporting our show and being such a great listener. And we really appreciate it.
And if you would like to become a Patreon patron of the week, you can find out more at patreon.com/flamealivepod.
[00:02:22] Alison: Are you feeling achy or sore? We have somebody for that.
[00:02:27] Jill: I am feeling achy and sore, and I would like my own athletic trainer, please. But the best I’m going to get right now is talking to an athletic trainer. So today we are moving over to the ice and talking with Wayne Lamarre. Wayne is a clinical professor and the director of the athletic training program at the University of New England.
He is a board certified athletic trainer and serves on the medical staff for the US women’s national ice hockey team with USA Hockey. And recently he was selected to be one of the athletic trainers on the team that’s going to Beijing with the women’s hockey team. So we talked with him about what an athletic trainer does. Take a listen. Wayne, thank you so much for joining us. First, tell us a little bit about what an athletic trainer does.
[00:03:15] Wayne: Athletic trainers are experts in injury prevention and management And that management could include everything from rehabilitation to emergency management of an injury.
And, the way I typically explain it to prospective students and parents, for example, when they’re coming here to the university is it’s sort of a blend between a primary care physician, an orthopedic specialist and an EMT because we focus quite heavily on musculoskeletal injuries, orthopedic kinds of injuries.
But there’s this interesting piece about being an athletic trainer that’s different, for example, than a physical therapist in that we often serve as in many situations, almost like a primary care physician, for some parts of the country. And it certainly is the case in the Olympic settings with the exception of those times when the physicians are right there with us .You know, the athletic trainer is sort of that first healthcare provider.
It’s the only healthcare provider that is onsite and on-scene, so it means that we have to know a little about a lot of things. For example, there are courses in our curriculum that we’re teaching our students that include information about how to recognize diabetic emergencies and cardiovascular conditions and respiratory conditions, things, that you would typically imagine hearing about or seeing in a nursing program or in a general medical practice type of program.
So we sort of have to skim the surface just so that our students and any athletic trainer can recognize those things and be able to make the appropriate referrals. We always work really closely with physicians. And I think that’s why they value our relationship because we’re their eyes and ears.
We’re the ones who, who get to know the athletes better than most because the athletes confide in us and we see them on a daily basis. So we’re the ones that sometimes for example, can pick up something like perhaps an eating disorder that is sort of lurking in the shadows or something else that was maybe even related to concussions that was behavioral and only picked up by somebody who knows the athletes as well as we do with athletic trainers.
[00:05:15] Jill: How hard is it to build a relationship with a team, especially one that you go into like USA Hockey gets put together, not that long before the Olympics. So how do you get to know the women on the team?
[00:05:29] Wayne: Yeah, that’s a challenge every time. Any camp I attend, I mean, thankfully because of the wonderful job that they do through the development camp process, I mean, many of these girls that I’ll be going to Beijing with, I’ve known since I’ve started with USA Hockey back in 2015, whether it’s in a they were coming up as young players at the time, or perhaps they were working as coaches for a U18 team development camp, for example, that I was working at.
So you get to know them just in terms of working side by side. But the challenge is always developing rapport to allow them to sort of trust you, and a big part of that honestly just begins with a skill set. I mean, there are certain things that these athletes, and I know this from conversations that I’ve had with colleagues that work with other Olympic teams, they’re incredibly dialed into their needs.
They know what works for them. Many of them are working with really skilled professionals, either at the division one programs where they played, or they have a PT, an AT, a strength and conditioning coach that they work with on a regular basis. So, they understand far better than most athletes sort of what their needs are.
And by showing them that you have the skillset, particularly around manual skills, whether it’s specialized types of massage, certain manual therapies that we incorporate, there are certain I’m trying not to come up with like a technical word necessarily in medicine, but there are certain myofascial techniques that we’ll incorporate into, and the athletes know just from your comfort level and your skillset sort of who they can trust and who they can’t. I joke with our young athletic training students here in our program, that sort of, the basic ankle tape technique is sort of your entryway, that’s your gateway.
It sort of seems like a really rudimentary thing that we learn and teach them. But I, tell them, I can’t impress upon you enough, the importance of doing this well, because when you walk into a brand new high school or a college setting, they’re going to judge you as on how well you taped that ankle.
And if you can’t do at least that really well, that’s going to really call into question the rest of your skillset. So there are certain things that these athletes just expect you to be able to do comfortably. And then you build rapport from there.
[00:07:31] Jill: What are some of the common injuries you see in ice hockey?
[00:07:35] Wayne: Hockey’s one of the wonderful sports to cover and both men’s and women’s that’s why I was so excited to work with the team. I started working as a student with hockey, with the Boston Bruins, years, years, and years ago, and then locally here in Maine with the Maine Mariners at the time. And it’s the reason I’m digressing a little bit is because it’s one of the great sports that you can cover that presents a challenge in terms of almost anything can happen because of the combination of the speed, the contact, whether it’s men’s or women’s hockey. I mean, there’s certainly a lot of contact involved in women’s hockey as well. The combination of that, along with this incredibly sharp thing, that’s on the bottom of your foot makes it really, really unpredictable in many ways.
So the adrenaline rush, that EMT sort of side of what I do as an athletic trainer is what keeps bringing me back. The game day for us is an incredible adrenaline rush because you’re literally, in your head going through any possible scenario. And that could be something as severe as a really life-threatening laceration that somebody gets from a blade, all the way down to muscle strain that happens because they weren’t quite ready. They weren’t quite as warmed up as they thought they were to go out on that first shift on the ice. Those kinds of things, and sort of anything in between. We commonly see ,the strains some of the sprains. These girls in particular again, are at such a high level that we don’t see as much of those sort of surprise sprains and strains.
A lot of it has to do with nursing along those nagging injuries that they’ve brought to us from their careers in Division One. We communicate pretty regularly with the medical staffs of the various schools that they come from. Many of the US women’s national team players are now graduated and they’re playing professionally.
So similarly we communicate with the athletic training and physicians staffs at their teams. And we sort of know, who has that nagging knee injury or that nagging ankle injury. And we’re working really hard to maintain the highest level we can to get them through the training part of, for right now, for example, they’re in residency in Blaine, and we’re helping them get through that residency program.
They’ve got a couple of exhibition games coming up today and over the weekend as part of the, My Why tour. So it’s just making sure that they stay healthy through those games and getting them ready for Beijing.
[00:09:46] Alison: What are some of the big differences you see between male players and female players
[00:09:51] Wayne: in general, and I’ve been doing this 30 years, female players are way tougher across the board in terms of their, pain tolerance and their willingness to sort of push through certain things. I’ll tell you a really quick story that’s not necessarily related to hockey or the Olympics, but one of the things that I’ve had the pleasure of doing in my career was working with professional dancers, ballet in particular.
And there was a period of time when I was working as an athletic trainer in Connecticut, where I was providing coverage for professional men’s soccer team. At the same time that we were doing some consulting work for the Hartford Ballet. And literally within the span of 24 hours, I was covering a professional soccer game for the men in afternoon.
And a player went down on the field with a relatively minor injury, not quite sort of the hangnail minor, but relatively similar. And, it was almost screaming, bloody murder. And, I ran out onto the field and really what he wanted more than anything else was just to get a breather. And it was just this sort of drama involved with it.
The following night I was covering this performance of, happened to be the Nutcracker ballet in Hartford. And I was seated in the stands in a designated spot so that anybody from the staff could come and get me if someone got hurt.
And during one of the intermissions, somebody came to get me and said, so-and-so needs you. And I, and I said to them, I didn’t see anything happen. And I went backstage and this, young lady had actually had, she fractured her foot during one of the jumps and landed and fractured her foot, but yet nobody in the audience saw anything.
And, and I wasn’t out of school very long. I can’t say that I was an expert necessarily at that time, but I certainly was a trained athletic trainer, a healthcare provider. And I didn’t see her flinch during this. That’s a great example of the kind of toughness and grit that I see in these female athletes all the time.
And certainly the male athletes that I’ve worked with over the years are tough too. But in general, yeah, I’ve always just really preferred.. There’s far more collegiality, there’s far more technique. It just feels like a little bit more of a cerebral game when I’m watching the women play then than the men play. And they’re just- it’s a great environment to be in. I think that’s part of the reason why they’ve been so successful as a team is they just have a cohesiveness that I just haven’t experienced in, in the male teams that I’ve worked with.
[00:12:02] Alison: So that raises the question of, someone gets hurt. You don’t think they should go back in. They want to go back in. How is that managed?
[00:12:12] Wayne: It’s managed as a team. I mean, we make all of those decisions very much in the open with the physicians that are involved with the coaching staff. Everybody has a tremendous amount of respect for each other that, that works at this level.
So a big part of it is just trying to remove the subjectivity as best we can. And, and an example of this might be, perhaps a player injures her knee or her ankle. There are objective tests that we can employ, whether it’s strength tests or specific agility tests on the ice.
And we have some baseline data for these players that, helps us to make a determination as to whether or not it really makes sense for them to go back. And to the extent that we can sort of pull our subjectivity out of it instead of the player, listen, you were able to complete this agility drill pre-injury in 3.8 seconds. Post-injury, you’re what, more than double that? Clearly you’re not gonna have the speed that you need, the agility you need to be as an effective player as you would like to be on the ice.
To the extent that we can create that objectivity, that it, it helps to soften the blow. I mean, they’re still going to be upset about not being able to play, but, and there are times when, because these are in most situations, these are adults. These players are over 18 years old. They understand the risks involved, and like any other healthcare provider, we go through the various informed consent sort of things that we would do around any type of medical procedure.
And there are times when they say, I’m willing to accept that risk, and we’ll make a decision to put them back in. But generally speaking, they’re really great about listening to us, probably because I think that, I’m a parent, the team position as a parent, these girls are adults, but they’re also young adults, and we sort of want to help them understand the perspective of the whole thing.
Yes, this is world-class play, I guess this is Olympic level play. However, this is an injury that might sideline you for a significantly greater amount of time if we ignore it now.
[00:14:05] Jill: All right, does also not having much of a professional league or professional opportunities factor into a woman’s decision, more than perhaps a men’s decision if they play for the NHL.
[00:14:18] Wayne: That’s a great question. I mean, I can tell you that to the extent that we’ve had, many of the players that are on the national team right now, currently in some professional capacity, whether it’s up in Canada or here in the US, that hasn’t been as big of an issue as, I know it is in the male, versions.
But I’m sure it’s in the back of their minds. It hasn’t really prevented them. I think for a lot of these players, at least from my perspective, they’re really good about being present when they’re with us. When they’re either training for us whether it’s part of the selection camp, or even after they’ve been named to the team, they are very much part of this particular team and playing for gold. And it’s a lot less about their individual professional endeavors than it is about that one goal that they have as a team. That goes back to that cohesiveness, I said before, that’s just, it’s really, really omnipresent in this team.
[00:15:09] Alison: How has COVID changed your job going into this Olympics?
[00:15:14] Wayne: It’s changed the job description to a certain extent because more than ever we’re, providing help to the physicians administering COVID tests, whether it’s nasal swabs, helping to administer the paperwork involved with getting all these tests done and back, back and forth in the labs.
It hasn’t hindered us to the extent that it’s gotten in the way of, for example, treating athletes or treating patients. Whether it’s at the selection camp or I suspect I’ll be joining the team up in Ottawa for some exhibition games next month. I don’t expect that it’ll affect how we treat other than the fact that, depending upon the situation we may be masked.
So in that sense, it’s no different than what I have to do here at the university. I mean, every day here at UNE we’re teaching classes with a mask on, because we have an indoor mask policy. But we’re not, thankfully, we’re not at a place where we were last year where we had to be in full PPE.
I mean, last year I was teaching classes and labs sessions here at the university in full PPE. It was awful in the summer, no, no less. And the USOPC and in particular theUS women’s national program has just been fantastic about keeping everybody safe. I mean, they’re really thorough about testing and, and the players get it.
We’re really fortunate that they understand the risks involved. Dr. Howe, the team physician is, wonderful at that, keeping them educated and helping them to really understand the ramifications of their decisions. And as you might expect, these girls really get the gravity of, what they’ve been selected to do, and they’re extra careful about those risky behaviors.
I don’t expect they’re going to be out hitting the clubs without masks anytime soon, because they just understand the risks involved with that nor will I, as a staff member. There are things that I keep being more mindful of. In terms of my own activity keeping track of any positive cases that come up here at the university and making sure that I’m staying away from those kinds of things.
[00:17:01] Jill: Has it affected much the staffing levels? Because we heard from the USOPC that the numbers of staff being able to go to Beijing has to be kept at the minimum.
[00:17:13] Wayne: Yeah. I’ve heard the same thing. And in fact there was, I wasn’t sure when they first invited me to go, we weren’t sure if the USOPC was going to allow this sort of second athletic trainer position, because Katie Homan is the primary athletic trainer for the US women’s national team.
She’s in residency with them now out of Minnesota and will be the primary AT. When we go to Beijing, I will be her wing man, so to speak, in terms of providing support for her in any way that she needs. So yeah, I wasn’t sure until, only a few weeks ago that we would receive the green light to bring that additional staff member. Katie, in fact, was that second athletic training staff member when they went to PyeongChang.
And so, historically it made sense we could easily justify the need for that, given, the workload and what was necessary to keep the team healthy and safe in PyeongChang. But we weren’t sure what was going to happen because of COVID, so.
[00:18:09] Alison: How are you working with trainers and the medical staff from other countries?
[00:18:14] Wayne: Boy, I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. My only experience internationally with them is through the Four Nations tournament and through the world championships. I traveled with the national team in 2016, up to Kamloops when they won the gold medal there.
And then again to Finland with the team when we played in the Four Nations tournament. And really the interaction with the staffs from other teams is not that different from what I recall when I worked in professional hockey as a student with the Bruins and with the Mariners. There’s sort of that home ice. You rely heavily on the home ice folks for logistical things, everything from, oh my goodness, these athletes really all want to do a cold tub to recover after their game or practice. And we’re going through ice like you would not believe. Where can I get more ice? I’ve emptied the machine out, three times. Logistical things like that to the really important things like, what’s going to happen if we need to get an MRI for this patient or athlete on short notice? What are our resources in terms of other emergency response kinds of things?
So, we’ll work in close contact with, as I did in Canada and in Finland, communicating with that staff. Who do you have on site for emergency medical coverage? Can you please go introduce me to them? Certainly in Finland there was a language barrier, so making sure that I communicated through the interpreter with the staff there at the arena, we were playing out in Finland, those, those kinds of things.
[00:19:39] Jill: What sort of things do you know that you have to bring over with you? Do you have to bring all of the like tape and things?
[00:19:47] Wayne: Yeah, we actually have just been communicating back and forth this week on shipping lists. We’re, we’re already sending things over on on ships right now ahead of time.
There are things that we know are going to be challenging to sort of carry over. There are things that are going to be just difficult for us, just in terms of customs and, so a lot of those things that you mentioned, a lot of the, what we call disposable, expendable supplies, the tapes, and those kinds of items need to go over ahead of time.
There are other specific things to the techniques that we use. For example, each of us is credentialed in the technical, dry needling. So the supplies that we need to administer that technique to the athletes, we need to make sure that we send those along because they tend to go through a lot of those needles in the treatments that we provide to them.
There are even basic things like crutches, that’s just a real hassle to sort of carry those things through airports much the same way. It’s a hassle to carry hockey sticks. So there are large items that just don’t fit into scanners efficiently. So it’s just much easier to to package those things up and send ahead of time as best.
[00:20:54] Jill: I can imagine that. We sometimes ask athletes about how they travel with their gear. Imagine going through TSA with a bag of 10 crutches.
[00:21:03] Wayne: Yeah. We actually used to have we, it’s probably sitting in fact, I think it is sitting in Dr. Howe’s garage here in Portland at her house there’s a really large medical travel case that we were so excited to receive funding for it.
And it was literally like welcoming this new member of your family. We actually, took a little poll and came up with a name and we named him Justin Case. And he had a label and, but he was huge. And when he was filled with supplies, he weighed almost a hundred pounds. He was really heavy.
So to get him, it was sorta like, not it .When, when the tournament’s over, who’s got to take Justin home with them. And I, and I distinctly remember having to shuttle him back from Canada when we went up to Kamloops for the world championships, like he ended up in my basement and I’m, almost giving myself a rotator cuff injury, setting him up on the conveyor and then taking them down.
And so we’ve since– he’s been retired, and now we’ve got some much smaller, more efficient versions of him that we’re bringing with us, but yeah, it’s just a lot of equipment. And the equipment staff is unbelievably masterful. I mean, in terms of the way that they understand how to package these things up, Brent Pru in particular, who’s been working with University of Minnesota for a long time. He’s just literally, he’s masterful, he’s the equipment whisperer. He knows exactly how to package these things up, how to send them. And we have to be really careful too, in terms of the cost. I mean, a lot of the things we’re bringing, it’s extremely heavy and we have to be mindful of the cost of, there are times when we’re literally standing with medical bags and supply bags and I’m standing on the scale and then I’ll grab a bag, stand on the scale to see what the bag weighs.
We’re doing math in our heads and pulling things out and separating them out because we have to make sure that that we do it correctly. When we walked into JFK airport on our way to Finland, it was quite an entourage in terms of all the equipment we had to bring. So.
[00:22:52] Alison: Justin sounds like the drunk friend that nobody wants to deal with at the end of the night.
[00:22:57] Wayne: That’s essentially what it was.
[00:23:00] Jill: Do you have names for the smaller versions?
[00:23:02] Wayne: We haven’t yet. No. We’ll come up with something, I’m sure. ‘Cause it was just super fun to call and maybe they have, I just haven’t been told the name yet, but, but I miss Justin. He was I there’s a, I’ve got a little bit of OCD in me in terms of how I like things organized, and Justin was beautiful in that sense. Like I knew exactly where everything was. And so yeah.
[00:23:20] Alison: You just can’t take him to the airport.
[00:23:21] Wayne: I can’t take him to airport
[00:23:22] Alison: It’s fine until you get the airport.
[00:23:24] Wayne: Yeah, exactly.
[00:23:24] Alison: What is something you would just not be able to work without?
[00:23:31] Wayne: Manual therapy skills, manual skills have become really paramount. I’ve been in this field long enough to sort of see the pendulum go back and forth between specialized toys and tools, certain types of equipment that seemed to be all the rage in the past, different types of ultrasound or in now, laser is being used to help the healing process.
As a profession, we’ve sort of moved away from those kinds of things and really focused on just a stronger knowledge of the anatomy. I mean, that honestly is what I can’t do without, like I need to, I need to make sure that I have a really solid knowledge of the human anatomy and the path of mechanics of what happens in these athletes, because that’s, what’s going to help me really understand.
And what’s great about them is that, again, because they’re so tuned in to the way their bodies work and what they need to do to perform at that level, we can have some incredible conversations with the athlete right there between myself and physician, Katie, the head athletic trainer and the strength conditioning staff to really identify something that may seem like such a small modification to the way that they skate, the way that they train.
But for somebody at that level, it really is a big change. And, and it can be instrumental in helping them to stay healthy or come back from an injury that much faster. And the great part is that, and this is one of the advantages of working with the physically active as compared to working with other types of populations is that they get it.
They have a motor capacity that if you show them an exercise or an activity, or you want them to modify the way that they’re breathing because we now know that, breath has a tremendous impact on things like shoulder range of motion and hip range of motion.
And there are things that we can do just in terms of modifying their breath. These athletes can feel it and they get it. You can say to them, well, did you feel that your gluteus medius muscle in your hip, did you feel that turn on? And they actually do feel it in ways that other athletes and patients just won’t necessarily feel because they are unbelievably dialed in their legs or their life. So they, they get it more than any of the other athletes I’ve worked with.
[00:25:36] Alison: What makes a bad patient? What just drives you nuts when one of the athletes does something?
[00:25:42] Wayne: I think that the noncompliance piece is probably the thing that’s the most annoying for us. Particularly when there are things that we know can really be helpful to them, especially in terms of expediting their recovery. And again, we don’t see that a lot in these kids because they’re so incredibly motivated to play and to be successful.
I think across the board, if you ask any healthcare provider in this field, whether it’s an AT or a PT, that they’re going to say the same thing. It’s that noncompliance piece that we try as best we can to educate the person so they can help themselves. Quite honestly, that’s how I got into athletic training education, why I’m a professor now that, it started off with teaching my patients about their injuries and helping them to make better decisions.
So when you think that they’ve understood you and yet they don’t want to sort of help themselves, that’s a really frustrating part about it.
[00:26:30] Jill: You talked a little bit about the pendulum’s shifting in types of therapies. What have you found about things like ultrasound and other kinds of things where you need big equipment or some kind of equipment that manual therapies help better? Or how did stuff get in and out of vogue?
[00:26:53] Wayne: Yeah, I think that it really comes down to there’s this wonderful quote by a deceased physician, a British physician that I use often in the talks that I give that, every all pain has a source, all treatment that you give for that pain must reach the source and then it has to be the kind of treatment that’s gonna be helpful.
And those that, that second piece is really important. I think we’re now discovering that, there are certain types of toys, ultrasounds, a good example of that, or even a hot pack oran ice bag that, although it may feel good to the athlete because it’s doing some things superficially, maybe it’s having an effect on some superficial nerves, it’s really not getting down to where the problem is. A great example of this is, the rotator cuff in the human shoulder. I mean, one of the benefits that we have here that we’re super grateful for is having a human gross anatomy lab that students and faculty can go in and work with the cadavers and really get a true sense of what this tissue looks like and feels like. And truly how deep that is.
If you’re working with a muscular athlete, it’s several centimeters below the surface of the skin where the problem is actually occurring. The athlete’s pain in the shoulder is coming from a structure that is deep within that shoulder. So short of using a scalpel and opening it up, which is way outside of my scope of practice and something I would never do, I need to find some treatment technique that can actually reach the source of that pain, and a lot of these toys that have come in vogue simply don’t reach that as well as they could or should. So that’s, I think where we’ve now gotten better about using, finding better ways for the body to heal itself.
A great example is what I just said a minute ago. This, this technique of dry needling. it uses the same type of equipment, for example, that acupuncture does, but in a much different way. And it’s only similar to acupuncture in the sense that it’s allowing the body to heal itself.
There are things that we know we can do to tissues in the body. And then you combine that with the incredible health of these athletes that they’re in and they can heal that much faster.
[00:28:55] Jill: So explain a little bit about dry needling for our listeners who might not know.
[00:29:00] Wayne: Sure. It’s using. I can actually show you what one of the needles look like.
I’ve got one here. And I’m certain that I’m not an expert in either technique and less so of course, in acupuncture, because I’ve never gone through formal training, but it uses a flexible, incredibly, incredibly small needle that you see right here. You get a sense of the diameter of it relative to my fingertip.
And it’s a technique of placing this needle into muscle tissue in particular at specific areas, in the case of the dry needling technique that I was taught, you’re looking for areas of restriction. So I would use my fingertips for example, to palpate around somebody’s biceps, muscle belly, and find an area of restriction and area that just feels thicker.
And it doesn’t feel as soft and supple as it should, or certainly relative to the side, maybe that doesn’t hurt the athlete. And then we would insert the needle into those particular areas. And the needle actually creates this microscopic injury, if you will. And it allows the body to sort of focus its attention on healing, that particular spot.
And many times what we find is that placing the needles into these muscle or fascial tissues, it allows that fascia to release, and the best way to explain fascia and why it’s so important in these athletes that are getting injured is that, I’ll use my shirt as an example. And we were just talking about a rotator cuff problem.
If I have a rotator cuff tear, or in fact if I get surgery on this shoulder, I’m going to get some scar tissue that’s going to build up, and scar tissue, when it tightens, is a lot like what you’re seeing me do right now. And as you see me draw up this side of my shirt, you can see how. It’s having an effect all the way down toward my left hip, for example, my left shoulder.
Well, the body is covered with superficial fascia that is interconnected in that way. So the more we can help athletes and healthcare providers understand that there is this interconnectedness of all of these tissues. We want to be laser focused and say, well, yes, your problem was the rotator cuff, and the surgeon did a wonderful job of repairing it. But what we forget is that to get down to that rotator cuff, he or she had to cut through many layers of tissue to get there. And all of those things are one big injury. That’s healing.
The same is true with an athlete an ice hockey player that sprains her ankle. That ankle, it seems like a relatively minor injury, but when that injury is healing and all the tissue is scarred down and trying to sort of relearn itself in the same way that ankle was pulling down all the fascia from the knee, for example, or from the opposite hip and the way that I just showed you what’s happening at the shoulder.
So that’s why I said really our hands and our knowledge of the anatomy and the sort of path. The mechanics of this is really the most important tools for us these days. It’s why we’re trying to incorporate more and more of these manual types of skills into our curriculum in ways that we never did before.
[00:31:52] Jill: One other thing you’ve probably seen a huge change in, in your career is the attitude towards concussions, and hockey’s a big concussion sport. So, what have you seen over time and how are the athletes today dealing with concussion?
[00:32:09] Wayne: Well, thankfully they’re better educated. We still don’t have, I think the level of appreciation that we want to see, and we may never just because there’s always going to be that sort of tension between holding somebody back and yet, doing the best thing for them medically.
I mean, I certainly wasn’t an elite athlete, but I was an athlete myself and, throughout high school and, and I get it. And one of the things that concerns me the most about concussions that remains to this day is that, there are things about, the long-term effects of them that we still don’t quite understand.
And in particular, the sub-concussive hits these sort of things that seem relatively benign. Like many universities, I’ve got some colleagues here at UNE that are doing some research on this right now to try to find out what those effects might be more on what I term the function of the brain is as opposed to the structure of the brain.
And I think that’s what makes concussions so challenging for people is that, if somebody gets a concussive hit, there may be some structural things going on, maybe a headache because they’ve got maybe some, some bruising that’s going on in the brain tissue. Maybe their vision is actually affected a little bit because maybe there’s some pressure on the optic nerve.
So there are some sort of structural things that we can measure with medical tests. I can have them read an eye chart. I can take their blood pressure. I can measure the effect of something happening in the brain relative to their cranial nerves. But then there’s this functional piece that I really worry about.
It’s that how’s your processing speed going? Like, how’s your concentration? How’s your, attitude, your mood, irritability, those things, that sort of fogginess. And we’re now discovering that there are these different types of concussions depending upon the area of the brain that’s affected. There are different types of concussions. And I guess when you think about it, if you’ve known anybody that’s had, for example, Parkinson’s or a stroke or some sort of a T.I.A., I mean, there are different parts of their person or body that are affected depending upon where the injury and the brain occurred.
So medically we’ve known about this for a long time. We just didn’t really make the really strong connection between concussions and in particular sport related concussions and these kinds of things. So athletes get that. It’s a big deal. I feel like, especially with the younger athletes. They get that it’s a big deal, more in the sense that they’re really gonna pull me out. Like, this is the threshold for me, is sitting on the bench is much lower than it was, from my coach or from my father or mother who played hockey back in the day, so to speak. And that’s what concerns me because one of the most important things in accurately diagnosing it is getting good patient reporting.
I mean, I need to know if they’re, say the headache. I need to know if they’re having a difficult time following plays and, and keeping track of things. So that’s, that’s our constant sort of worry about this. And we know that, these kids who are getting concussed are three to six times more likely to get concussed again.
So there’s this, we all have our sort of, we review the medical histories really thoroughly of these kids. And I know who my, cherubs are that need to have more attention because they were concussed in the past. And we keep a closer eye on them for that reason.
A sports psychologist here in the Portland area said it beautifully. He used to work with the Maine Mariners hockey team when I was working with them. And he said, for an athlete, WIN stands for what’s important now, and trying to get them to understand that this is a big deal. This is your brain. And unfortunately, we’ve got some stories from the NFL and from other professional teams that can help sort of support my case when I try to educate the athletes about this, that, things like CTE and, and sort of long-term effects of repeated concussions are rearing their ugly head right now in professional sports. So we’re just trying to really help them understand that piece
[00:35:40] Jill: When you’re at a big tournament, like world champs, what is your day like, or what do you anticipate your day, like being like in Beijing?
[00:35:49] Wayne: The D the days are busy. That’s the funny part is when I talk to colleagues or former students and it’s an incredible honor, and it’s, wonderful to be chosen to go and certainly to get to work with these athletes, but the days are typically, 12, 14 hour days, because we’re helping the athletes when the athletes are not on the ice physically, practicing or playing, when that happens, it’s sort of a downtime for us physically because we’re watching the game or the practice. Mentally, as I was telling you before, it’s that adrenaline alert it’s that, I’m literally in, I joke in the way that I used to do when I was a baseball player, like before every pitch, imagining what could happen if the ball comes to me, it’s that constant sort of you’re on alert because if something happens, if somebody gets a fracture, if somebody gets a, a serious laceration from the blade of the skate, like, how am I going to manage this?
Where is the AED? What are the hand signals again that we’ve worked out with the physician to know when I need some help on the ice, those kinds of things, as well as who are those players I need to keep my eye on. So-and-so has a knee injury. I’m watching them. So-and-so has a back injury, like, so we’re physically relaxing, but cognitively we’re in that heightened state.
And then when the athletes are off the ice, they’re in constant treatments with us. So whether it’s, coming to see myself or in our case, Katie Homan the athletic trainer to say, I’m noticing my right hip has been really, really tight. Would you mind working on it for a bit? And it’s a combination of what we’ll do in terms of those manual skills we talked about.
And then they have separate appointments with the massage therapy staff that we bring to these world championships and to the Olympics that are doing more formalized, longer sessions of massage therapy to get them either recovering from a practice or a game or helping them really work on a particular area.
And we’re in constant conversation with the massage therapy staff about these kinds of things, too. We’re doing treatments, let’s say for example, that, the team had practice at eight o’clock in the morning. Well, we’re there at least an hour ahead of time getting things ready were there for the entire practice.
Then when practice is over, we’re cleaning things up, maybe going back to get some lunch with the team. And then we immediately are going to wherever it typically for us, it’s a hotel room that we’ve set up as the medical room. And we’re sort of staffed there with our examination tables and our equipment, providing treatments all afternoon long right up until, in many cases, 8, 9, 10 o’clock at night.
That’s a pretty typical day for us. And we’re good about supporting each other. I mean, as a medical staff, we understand that, we don’t want to burn each other out, so we’re great. The team physician will say, Wayne I’ve got this practice. I’ll cover this. Why don’t you go take a break if you need to go for a run, get some fresh air, whatever the case is, go do that. And vice versa. That I think is one of the reasons why they, pushed as hard as they did to be able to bring that second athletic trainer to Beijing, to give Katie some space, just like the other staff members.
[00:38:44] Jill: It’s almost like being in a COVID bubble won’t make a difference because you don’t see much of the outside world anyway during these tournaments?
[00:38:53] Wayne: No, no. When we were in Kamloops for the world championships, the team physician at the time Dr. Slater and I snuck out to play around a golf one afternoon for two hours.
Neither of us brought clubs with us, but we, through the connections at the tournament, we’re able to borrow some clubs and had a beautiful two hour round of golf there in Kamloops, which is a great part of the country, but that was literally it. So, yeah, that’s sort of how that typically goes.
[00:39:20] Jill: Are practice days different from game days in terms of what you do?
[00:39:24] Wayne: Yes. In the sense that game days- Typically the athletes are really good about understanding the need from a sports psychology perspective and from a sport recovery perspective to just create the space for themselves. So game days tend to be, I mean, there’s, there’s a flurry of activity like pregame, whether it’s, again, even as something as basic as pregame ankle taping or risk taping and, stretching somebody out.
One of the Lamoureux twins years ago wanted me to sort of work on her shoulder you know, before each game to get her ready. So there are those kinds of pregame things that happen. But generally speaking, the athletes are just in their rooms, they’re doing what they need to do to get mentally prepared for the game. So it’s a little bit more of a downtime in that sense.
After the game, there’s a ton of recovery that’s happening. We use dry needling as a recovery technique for certain injuries. So it may be that we’re doing that kind of manual therapy stuff with the athletes directly after a game. I mentioned earlier that some of them really find cold tubs, ice tubs to be really beneficial.
So it’s making sure that those are done correctly and that it’s clean and, all those kinds of things to make sure that it’s healthcare in general. We’re just keeping track of all of that.
[00:40:31] Jill: And I’m going to go out on a limb. This is a volunteer position for you, correct?
[00:40:35] Wayne: It is. Yes. I mean, our, our travel expenses are paid for it thankfully, but yes, no, it’s, it’s a volunteer position and I’m incredibly grateful that UNE’s allowing me to do this. I mean, not that many employers would. Be okay with somebody leaving for an in this case five weeks, six, when you include the week that I’ll be up in Ottawa with the team next month.
It’s wonderful that they see the value in that, from my perspective as the program director here. So it’s great for me to be able to bring the stories back to the extent that I can without violating HIPAA, to bring those stories back to my students, and help them understand
[00:41:07] Alison: What are you most looking forward to for Beijing?
[00:41:10] Wayne: Just the opportunity and it, it happened in, Finland and the world champions hips. I mean, I think that it’s not lost on me that we’re representing our country. And I think that that’s, it’s an incredibly powerful thing. And even as a sort of in the supporting role that I play, I mean, clearly the athletes are the stars of the show, but even in our supporting roles, I mean, it’s not lost on us that we’re representing the United States.
So, game time for me is it’s an, it’s an emotional thing to be able to stand up and to hear the anthem played. And to know that you’re representing the United States is a big deal. So that’s most what I’m looking forward to in particular with Beijing. I mean, I enjoy traveling anyway and, and learning about new cultures.
We’re really blessed that our massage therapist is from China. So to have sort of our own, cultural ambassador with us to make sure that we don’t embarrass ourselves and do the best thing we can to represent not only ourselves, but the team is going to be fantastic.
And she’s really excited about giving us the education, showing us around to the extent that we can. Again, I’m not sure what we’re going to have for time or availability based on the COVID bubble and how things really shake out. But it’s going to be interesting to see that. So, and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen in terms of, for example, the opening ceremonies and closing ceremonies.
I really don’t know. I mean, you saw what happened in the summer Olympics. There was a pretty limited number of, people that were allowed into those ceremonies. So I don’t know what’s going to happen in Beijing. So we’ll see. My kids are looking forward to the swag
[00:42:31] Jill: I’m sure.
[00:42:33] Alison: Yeah.
[00:42:35] Jill: Did you get good swag at world champs?
[00:42:37] Wayne: We got great swag period. I mean, if it’s not UNE swag, it’s USA Hockey swag. So it’s almost embarrassing how much clothing. They do a great job of keeping us outfitted, so.
[00:42:46] Jill: Excellent.
Thank you so much, Wayne. You can follow Wayne on Twitter. He is @wrlamarre, and we will have a link to that in the show notes.
That sound means it’s time to check out our history moment. We are looking back at Atlanta in 1996 all year long because it is the 25th anniversary of the Atlanta games. My turn for a story, this week. So we are going to the track, and we are going to talk about German discus thrower Ilke Wyludda.
[00:43:21] Alison: This is very specific.
[00:43:23] Jill: It is very specific because you’ll find out why.
[00:43:27] Alison: Okay. I’m ready.
[00:43:28] Jill: So Ilke was born in East Germany and she was a dominant juniors discus thrower, but she didn’t do well at the top stages. So at like world champs and things, she wasn’t doing well. And they, she actually got passed over for the 1988 Olympic team in Seoul.
I couldn’t figure out why, but she did get passed over. She did go to 1992 in Barcelona. Did not get out of the qualifying round because again, we still have this issue where Ilke just gets to the really big stage and, and doesn’t perform as expected.
So in 1996, she’s 27 years old and she finally does it. She obliterates the opposition. Her first five throws are all better than anyone else’s. Her winning margin- she wins gold -winning margin was the largest since 1952. So she threw 69 point 66 meters, which was 3.18 meters farther than the silver medalist threw. And when reporters asked how she did it, she said, “I will tell you my secret. For six weeks I have not eaten ice cream.”
[00:44:41] Alison: If that’s all we needed to be a discus gold medalist. I could not do it.
[00:44:47] Jill: Right? So she also went on to compete in Sydney, but in 90- 1997, she was in a wheelchair for four months after wounds from an operation that didn’t heal properly. Throughout her career, she had a lot of injuries.
She tore her Achilles twice and had 15 operations on various knee problems. And in Sydney, she finished seventh. She tore a chest muscle in 2001, age 32 and retired.
[00:45:13] Alison: Well, yeah.
[00:45:14] Jill: But that’s not it for Ilke. In December 2010, she had some kind of wound on her leg that did not heal properly. And she got blood poisoning and her right leg was amputated above the knee in December, which meant she can now compete in the Paralympics.
[00:45:33] Alison: Did she come back for the Para-?
[00:45:35] Jill: Came back for the Paralympics and was in the F 57/58 Shot Put put event at the 2012 games in London and was the first German athlete to have competed at both the Olympics and Paralympics. She also competed in the F 57/58 class in discus and placed ninth. So she placed fifth in the shot, put ninth in the discuss. 43 years old.
She competed through 2015. She was trying for Rio and had a shoulder injury. And then that, that pretty much ended her career. When she retire–in her retirement different retirement stages, she became a physiotherapist, studied medicine and then became an anesthesiologist.
[00:46:20] Alison: Well, she had a lot of experience given how many operations she had had.
[00:46:26] Jill: And even though she didn’t go to Rio, she had other great news in 2016 when her world champs 2015 results in Doha were bumped up.
Due to doping because Bulgaria’s Stella Enava was caught doping. So she was bumped up from the bronze to the silver medal at the world champs. And that’s kind of how she went out. On the podium.
[00:46:51] Alison: Was there ever any controversy in 96? With her and doping, given that her results were so much better or was it just, she was injury free finally?
[00:47:00] Jill: I think she was injury free and gotten to a place. Well, she didn’t eat ice cream, but she got to a place where mentally, she just lived up to the potential that she all had. I did try to figure out like, because she was East German, I wondered if she was part of the system that they had there, but I couldn’t quite find anything, but I just thought that was one of those amazing stories of Olympic gold medalist and also Paralympian.
[00:47:25] Alison: Ilke. If you just lay off the ice cream people, you too can be an Olympic gold medalist.
[00:47:35] Jill: Coming up is our next book club meeting, our last book club of the year. That will be coming up in November at the end of November sometime. You still have time to get the book it’s related to Atlanta 1996, because we are reading Dominique Moceanu’s Off Balance: A Memoir, and Dominique was one of the members of the Magnificent Seven women’s gymnastics team. I just finished the book today.
[00:47:59] Alison: I have not started the book, so there’s plenty of time.
[00:48:01] Jill: Exactly. So you can get your copy at bookshop.org/shop/flamealivepod.
[00:48:11] Alison: Welcome to TKFLASTAN!
[00:48:14] Jill: It’s time to take a trip to where all of our Team Keep the Flame Alive members live. These are our past guests from the show. First off Shiva Keshavan, and Adam Edelman are running for two open seats on the IOC Athletes Commission. So there are 17 candidates for these two spots and voting will happen at Beijing 2022.
It was kind of fun. I got to say it was fun. When the list came out, it was like, do we know anybody? And we did!!
[00:48:42] Alison: We’ve got two citizens on the ballot. That’s pretty exciting. And triathlete, Joe Maloy and his wife welcomed a daughter, Emma Sun into their family. This is their second little girl. think they need to have three because he is a triathlete.
But congratulations to them.
And Tom Scott won silver in the 75 kilogram men’s team event at the Pan American Championships. And was the overall vice champion.
[00:49:13] Jill: Do you know what that means?
[00:49:14] Alison: It means that in the different categories. So in individual and team. like they put all the results together.
[00:49:21] Jill: Oh, that’s cool. Way to go Tom, very nice.
As we said, it’s time for our news from Beijing and it is 100 days out or less than now. By the time you listen to it, less than a hundred days. Very exciting Very scary. Cause we’ve got a lot to do, but very exciting.
[00:49:49] Alison: Medal designs were released.
[00:49:51] Jill: They are circular. They aren’t always circular medals.
[00:49:55] Alison: No, they’re not always circular medals. These are very traditional looking medals.
[00:50:01] Jill: Yeah, I give you that. And it’s like, huh, they look very normal, but then there is a lot of meaning and layers to them, I mean like normal. I mean, when you think of like,
[00:50:11] Alison: Torino
[00:50:11] Jill: Albertville and Torino and Sochi,
[00:50:13] Alison: Sochi, Vancouver.
[00:50:15] Jill: Yeah. Those were all kind of unusual. Most of them, if they do get kind of wacky for the Winter Olympics.
[00:50:21] Alison: The Winter Olympics, I was looking at the old pictures and you go back to even Salt Lake City that looked like a rock. So these are very PyeongChang, a circular medal, simple in some ways. And yet layered with meaning.
[00:50:36] Jill: Yes. So they consist of five rings and then a center. This is based on the Chinese ancient Jade concentric circle pendants. So the five rings also symbolized the Olympics. The appropriate symbol is in the middle. So it would be either the Olympic rings or the Paralympic Agitos. And then on the on the flip side, it will have the Beijing logo for the appropriate games.
And then in the rings in between the rings, there’s like ice, snow and cloud patterns. So it’s really kind of very pretty.
[00:51:06] Alison: And then the ribbon was red and gold, which they have consistently been using throughout the designs.
[00:51:12] Jill: Yes, which I also liked very much. And it was interesting because listener Dan posted in our Facebook group, he had gone to the Atlanta History Center and got to see the Atlanta 1996, exhibit that TKFLASTANI, Sarah Dylla told us about, and he posted the medals from the Olympics and the Paralympics and oh, you can see the second class citizenry that were the Paralympic medals.
I mean, the medals themselves were nice, but they were on plain ribbons as opposed to the very fancy Atlanta, 1996 medals and ribbons of the Olympics.
[00:51:43] Alison: So Beijing is definitely continuing what Tokyo is doing, trying to make many of the design elements the same for both the Olympics and the Paralympics.
[00:51:52] Jill: And same with PyeongChang did that too. I — it would be interesting to go back and see how, when they really started to become in line with each other more. But it’s nice to see that.
The uniforms have been released for the officials and volunteers. Very snowy, very sleek. , I like them. The –
[00:52:11] Alison: Did you?
[00:52:12] Jill: Yes I did. You know, I liked that the, one set of them is white with red shoulders and black elements to it. And the other is blue. But I like the fact that they have mountains on the torsos of these uniforms.
[00:52:29] Alison: They do look warm.
[00:52:31] Jill: And I was reading about them. They talked about how they were trying to be concerned of having a variety of body types that they needed to fit. And they wanted things to be stylish and yet comfortable and yet warm. And I think they, they look nice.
[00:52:46] Alison: They also have a variety of weights in the coat, so you’ve got kind of a thin windbreaker-y style. That probably be for people who are say inside the ice rink, all the way up to snow pants, full parka, furry hat for people who will be outside on the mountain.
[00:53:03] Jill: They have been releasing video series like you wouldn’t believe. There’s a pop video that is a little made by committee, or maybe it’s made for like the Sesame Street set.
[00:53:14] Alison: Everything is made by committee. It definitely, yeah, the pop video and even the, the little movie that features the mascots was a little generic, American Idol winning song. Like everybody had to agree to this. There’s nothing controversial happening here.
[00:53:31] Jill: Right, right. There are now more videos that you’ll see on their social of the dual Olympic video series. So there’s multiple, I think, short films that talk about Beijing hosting in 2008 and 2022. And there’s other videos that just try to get you in the spirit and I think are more music and images versus having more of this text on screen message.
The playbooks came out.
[00:54:00] Alison: Yeah. We have to read our own playbook. It was overwhelming how much detail was in this playbook and how many questions. And now that we’re going, do you find yourself reading the playbook very differently?
[00:54:12] Jill: Yeah. Well, very much more carefully.
[00:54:14] Alison: But not only much more carefully, but we’re finding all the holes in these playbooks where wait, if you leave the country and come back in and what does this mean? I will have to go back now and reread some of the Tokyo playbooks. I wonder if it was as gray as these playbooks seem to be. I mean, these playbooks have basically said go nowhere, talk to no one, don’t breathe in the wrong spot. But they don’t quite tell you how you’re supposed to do all those things.
[00:54:44] Jill: Yeah. And it’ll be very interesting. So the big element of the Beijing playbooks are that you will be in a closed loop system, where basically you arrive in Beijing, you get from the airport where you’re tested.
You have to test before you get there. You have to download an app and have information on the app. I know there’s something where you have to get tested before you go, and you have to submit those results to the embassy or a consulate to get a green light so that you can get into the country. Along with the other entry element you need as your credential.
But then once you get there, you will be tested again, and then you can leave the airport only to go on the approved transportation. And you will be taken to your hotel and you can only really go to your hotel and the venues. I really have a feeling that this time, all the hotels that are involved with the Olympics, they will be for Olympics people only. So there might be a little bit more freedom than some people experienced in Tokyo. We know some, I think dulcet tones of Jason Bryant had to order Uber Eats a lot, and be in his room for meals. But I think we’ll be able to use the hotel a little bit more.
[00:56:02] Alison: I hope so. It’s a nice hotel.
[00:56:07] Jill: Basically, I think it’s not much different in the elements of please get vaccinate. Well, for China, if you don’t get vaccinated, you will be quarantining in China 21 days ahead of time.
[00:56:17] Alison: And that includes the athletes.
[00:56:19] Jill: Yes. And so I really think that they’re pushing people to get vaccinated but it’s basically, yeah, you’re in a little closed loop. You can’t go anywhere and you’re really going to be cordoned off from the rest of the world. You will get fans in the stadium. So you had to be extra careful to not mingle with them, but you’ll have an Olympics and a Paralympics.
[00:56:41] Alison: It’ll be interesting. And it’ll be very interesting to be there to say what is actually happening.
Cause you can’t, you can’t see that unless you’re there, you know, is the media being put in this one little section and you really are going in your own door and your own little glass, a bubble within a bubble and not even seeing the fans. Yeah.
[00:57:02] Jill: I would not be surprised if you’re very, very much separated, but it’ll, it’ll be interesting.
And in conjunction with a hundred days out, some NOC are releasing their kits.
[00:57:13] Alison: So we’re getting the first Lululemon kit from Canada.
[00:57:18] Jill: What do you think of that?
[00:57:20] Alison: I think it’s very appropriate being released around Halloween because I think it looks like it’s covered in blood. I think the shade of red that they chose is horrific.
[00:57:31] Jill: So describe what they’ve got here.
[00:57:34] Alison: It’s a big collection. We’ve got puffer coats. We’ve got windbreakers, we’ve got many, many versions of hats. The Canadians will have more hats than they know what to do with, but many of these pieces have this sort of multi shaded red abstract.
It’s almost like a red camouflage pattern. And the shades of red are rather unfortunate.
[00:57:55] Jill: They are, it’s a very deep red compared to the Canadian maple leaf on the flag. And the, puffer coats are very long, so they, and they kind of angle outward. So it’s almost like an, a line coat and it’s interesting to see the pictures because there were athletes with coats on coats and just wonder how it all fits together.
[00:58:17] Alison: I’m hoping that once again, because the last time I was very critical of the Canadian kit, I saw it in motion and when they were actually wearing it, I liked it much better. So I’m hoping that it will be better in motion, on camera.
[00:58:35] Jill: I think that the coats are kind of cool. They also include like mittens. They don’t have the traditional mittens with the maple leaf on them wood that everybody has gone gaga over.
I wonder if that’s just because that’s the old designer and they aren’t going to do that anymore, but they do look like they’re on a string. So that you can connect them to your coat and not lose them because the one picture is of, of a male athlete and he’s got the big coat of the two layer coat on and by two layers, I really mean it’s a big puffer coat that goes down to his knees and then maybe a vest over it that goes down just past his hips.
So, and then he’s got just two mittens that look like they’re suspended just around his chest.
[00:59:24] Alison: And he’s got a hat. There are so many hats in this collection. You will have a multi-tiered Canadian hat collection.
[00:59:33] Jill: I will say that they do look comfortable.
The other kit that we’ve seen is Japan has released its kit. Very exciting to see that as well.
[00:59:43] Alison: This is a much better shade of red.
[00:59:47] Jill: Yeah, it is a brighter red. They have a puffy code that goes down just past the hips, a little bit, a red coat, white pants, and then there’s also a suit element to it. That’s a Navy suit with a red tie and white shirt.
[01:00:02] Alison: Very reminiscent of their Tokyo opening ceremonies outfits with the tie and the scarf for the women in the suit structure, but both the men and the women get pants this time because it’s winter.
[01:00:17] Jill: Yes. And then there’s also a navy long sleeved athletics top, more casual top and then a t-shirt that’s white with a red line curved through it. That looks nice and comfortable, I will say
[01:00:30] Alison: hats and have a little pompom hat.
[01:00:35] Jill: Well, you got to have a hat.
[01:00:37] Alison: Gotta have a hat. It’s chilly.
[01:00:39] Jill: I’m looking forward to seeing more kits come out because we should see some more Europeans teams come out with them soon.
Yes, we do have some doping news.
[01:00:52] Alison: No, come on. You’re yuckin’ my yum here.
[01:00:56] Jill: I know. I’m sorry. Uh, we had the first formal disqualification of a Tokyo Olympics athlete for doping, Russian Igor Polyanskiy has been banned for three years, according to World Triathlon. And we read about this in NBC Sports. So he admitted to doping with EPO, which is an endurance boosting hormone, ahead of the games.
And he’s banned until during 2024 Paris Olympic. So that is a not great. The positive test came from a sample taken at a training camp five days before he began competition, positive test was notified. He placed 43rd in the race, and then he helped the team finished 14th in the mixed relay.
[01:01:42] Alison: And what country was he from?
[01:01:45] Jill: Russia.
[01:01:46] Alison: Yeah. Okay.
[01:01:49] Jill: So that’s a positive thing for Russia going into, Hey, can we get it back together and compete as Russia again? So, Hey, good on you for that one.
Then we have some interesting news from the IOC.
[01:02:09] Alison: I don’t know what to quite make of this.
[01:02:11] Jill: Oh, I know. The Association of National Olympic Committees had its general assembly and the IOC director general Christophe De Kepper announced that there would be no more authorized ticket resellers for the Olympics in the future.
[01:02:29] Alison: So in the US, this is CoSport. If you’ve heard us talk about that before, and there are others around the world.
[01:02:35] Jill: Exactly. In June they made a partnership with an outfit called On Location to become its new hospitality partner. So this is a UA US-based company that will act as exclusive service provider for Paris, Milan Cortina and LA 2028 for the hospitality program. Ticketing will also be centralized. So traditionally the National Olympic Committees have been appointed their own authorized ticket resellers, and they would sell tickets on their behalf.
So it was revenue for the NOC. It was revenue for the authorized ticket resellers. And of course, then if you bought the tickets, you got to pay some fees to pay for the services. So now this will all be centralized and it allows for standalone tickets to be distributed to global fans through each organizing committee’s websites directly.
So no more authorized ticket resales. No more aTRs selling their own tickets. No more going through that, you will go through one site. There will be probably no ticket drops like we’ve had or not knowing what’s going on. The flip side as our friend, Ken Hanscom pointed out on Twitter, a global system is going to put significant strain on a provider because there was for Tokyo 2020, when they were selling tickets, there was a 21 hour queue just for residents to enter the lottery, and over a million people were in line to figure out the results. Imagine everybody piling into a queue for tickets for Paris.
[01:04:19] Alison: Yes. But. When we had the disaster that was getting refunds from Tokyo 2020, all the ATRs had their own systems and their own rules. I think that was the, the final straw for the ATRs of how poorly that was handled. And the IOC is the one who got the flack for that. It was the public saying the IOC isn’t refunding my money.
[01:04:48] Jill: Right.
[01:04:49] Alison: So which we all know the IOC takes responsibility for nothing, but who gets the blame? They’re the ones who got the bad press. So this did not surprise me, but it did surprise me in that they were able to move this so quickly that they’re going to be ready for this, or they think they’re going to be ready for this in basically a year, cause usually about a year out is when we start seeing tickets. So they’re looking at 2023, I guess, a year and a half for starting to sell those ’24 tickets.
[01:05:23] Jill: Yeah. And uh, it’ll be interesting for sure. Ken also noted they will also have to deal with bots, trying to bypass the queues and brokers as being part of the sale.
So trying to get tickets into individuals’ hands could be difficult. That the whole re what kind of resellers market is there going to be.
[01:05:45] Alison: Well, that was always true.
[01:05:47] Jill: Yeah. But that’s one of those, I believe with the, when you bought tickets from CoSport, you could not resell them legally kind of thing. You can resell them. Like if you were there, I’m sure you, and when I was in Salt Lake, we bought tickets off the street for an event. And, but I think the whole like, oh, I’m just going to go to StubHub and find Olympics tickets. I don’t think they want that.
[01:06:12] Alison: Well, that’s no different. I mean, I’m sure this will have the same. I think, I think this is going to be a positive. I really do.
[01:06:19] Jill: I hope so. Oh yeah. I hope it will be a positive. I, I it’s gotta be better than the ATRs because that was just a nightmare to deal with. It was so expensive. Ken did point out who loses in this are European residents who could buy tickets from other countries in Europe. Because they could just go into all the different ATR lotteries and get a ton of tickets that way. Now they won’t be able to do that.
[01:06:42] Alison: But doesn’t that go with how the IOC is, is trying to not be so Eurocentric.
[01:06:50] Jill: Maybe I — you’re optimistic. You’re nicely optimistic about that.
[01:06:54] Alison: I’m trying.
[01:06:57] Jill: This, this, I thought I was, I was really like, oh boy, our friends over at the blog Games and Rings noted that a lot of folks chose to take a credit versus a refund for their purchase Tokyo 2020 packages from CoSport. So the credit would be applied to Paris 2024, and now,
[01:07:19] Alison: Oh,
[01:07:20] Jill: it doesn’t have that. And. What else does CoSport do to keep it in existence? So are these people going to be able to get their refunds back? Would they be able to turn their credit into a refund?
[01:07:36] Alison: Or is CoSport going to go bankrupt? And then people lose even more money from the Japanese 2020 debacle?
[01:07:46] Jill: Yeah. So that would be an interesting situation to hear about. Maybe we’ll find something somewhere, or if you are a person that chose a credit option and plan to go to 2024, what have you heard? Yes, we would love to know,
[01:08:02] Alison: Back when, back when they announced that no fans would be allowed and they talked about the tickets, I speculated about we’ve got lawsuits coming and they haven’t materialized.
[01:08:15] Jill: That we know of. That we’ve heard of.
[01:08:17] Alison: True. I think we would have heard. This may be the tipping point if you’re not going to get a credit.
[01:08:25] Jill: Yeah.
[01:08:26] Alison: The only reason I want lawsuits is for discovery. I want stuff to come out. That’s the only reason I want lawsuits. I want to know the backroom deals that were going on with all this ticketing, but now that the ATRs are being eliminated. Good.
[01:08:40] Jill: Yeah, I think it will take out a layer of complexity that ends up just costing the fans more. So hopefully this going through directly through the organizing committees, we’ll make it streamlined. Hopefully they will be able to handle the volume that it will create with a global demand for tickets. But it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Having to test the system on a Summer Olympics, little rough, boy, but maybe they’ll figure it out.
[01:09:10] Alison: And a summer olympics in Europe.
[01:09:12] Jill: Oh, there’s going to be high demand for Paris if we have the pandemic behind us at that point and fans are allowed to go, the pent up demand is going to be through the roof. So. We’ll see.
That will do it for this a week. A hundred days out. Let us know your thoughts going into the Beijing Olympics.
[01:09:29] Alison: Email email@example.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. We’re @flamealivepod on Twitter and Insta. And Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group on Facebook.
[01:09:46] Jill: Next week, we will have more stories from the Olympics and Paralympics. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.