Sports Massage for the Media at London 2012: Julia Warren’s experience
Julia provided sports massage for the media during the London 2012 Olympics Games, at the Olympic Park.
Julia studied sports massage out of a desire to help athletes keep injury-free and improve their recovery, and to optimise their performance both during training and competition. She is passionate about sport, so when injury prevented her from participating herself, sports massage was the obvious choice to stay involved. She was a member of the British Rowing team as a lightweight rower, and the highlight of her time in the team was a silver medal at the World Championships in 2003.
“Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to be part of a team of sports massage therapists and osteopaths based in the Main Press Centre in the Olympic Park.
When I signed up for the team I wasn’t sure how much demand there would be from media professionals. However I hadn’t anticipated the scale the media operation, and nor had I appreciated the efforts which London 2012 would go to in order to keep the media happy, in the hope they would report on the games in a positive light! The Main Press Centre catered for the needs of 21,000 media and broadcasters from across the world, providing them with all the facilities they needed to work and relax.
Our main massage clients were cameramen, tired and lopsided from carrying heavy cameras on one shoulder and from contorting their bodies into whatever position gave them the best shots! But we also treated a full range of media professionals, including several familiar faces from the BBC. Inevitably, many of the media were working crazy hours, so were typically suffering from tight shoulders and back pain. Many clients had worked through the night on news stories, and it wasn’t unusual to find clients who had completed 60 hour days without any sleep…
It was very different from my usual client base of rowers and triathletes, but a fantastic opportunity to see the Olympics from a different angle, and meet and treat people from all corners of the world.
The massage clinic was supporting the Jonathan Betser Legacy Project, raising funds for the Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City and promoting awareness of osteopathy.”
We had three of our therapists working at London 2012. Julia Warren (in this article), Aurelie Almeida (Athletes Medical Team) and Dan Scott (Sports Massage at Paralympics Training Camp). Dan’s article will follow shortly.