18 April 2018
Day 8 - 4 April 2018
The first day of the Commonwealth Games and the opening day of competition, so now the pressure ramps up. Medical HQ was a busy place first thing with the physios and doctors coming in to stock up their bags before heading to the transport mall to get to the various venues to cover their sports.
My day was spent in HQ in the Village looking after any athletes who were not competing today and needed treatment or help with the ice/compression units or maintenance treatments around their training.
Lots of the swimmers came through after their morning heats for massage and ice baths or compression recovery. The day was a series of peaks and troughs as the athletes came through at different times having either competed, trained and recovering, or about to go to the venues to compete.
We started the day well with a few medals to get us going.
Day 9 – 5 April 2018
On the second day of the Games, my day started with an early bus trip to the aquatics centre to look after our divers for their morning training session (they do not start competing until the 11 April). Pre-session treatments, onto their dry land warm up in the prep room and then into the pool for training.
It’s great to sit back in the sun poolside and watch the likes of Rio bronze medallists Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears training right in front of you. It makes you realise just how technically and physically demanding the sports is, and even at this level it does go wrong, so whiplash and dead-legs are commonplace, especially if you miss-time your entry into the water from the 10m platform!
I do a few more treatments, some taping and recovery ice before heading back to the Village for lunch.
After lunch, I go back to the aquatics centre to catch up with the swimming squad, including Adam Peaty before going across to the pool to oversee the divers’ afternoon training session.
The second diving session was purposefully organised after dark, as the finals here will be late, so the divers will be competing for medals in the dark. In an outdoor pool, this poses a challenge of diving under floodlights which they are not used to back home with most facilities being indoor.
However this may help our divers as during the daytime the sky is so blue here that they find it hard to distinguish between the sky and water while tumbling through the air in their dives.
Back to HQ for the end of shift, and the team sports athletes head back for their late ice baths after their first round matches.
Day 10 – 6 April 2018
The third day of the Games and another early start, and I’m back on the bus to the pool after breakfast. The main dining hall has all the food available you can think of and it’s 24/7. Most of the food is on the healthy end of the spectrum, and it is influenced by all continents, with Asian, Western and Indian being popular choices.
With only athletes and coaches/support staff able to enter the Village, you frequently end up eating your breakfast, lunch or dinner next to household names from all countries. Breakfast with Tom Daley, lunch with Jazmin Sawyers and dinner with Adam Peaty would not be unrealistic. If you’re in Team England kit, everyone is on the same team!
At the pool I check in with the divers, who are all carrying various aches and pains which all need to be managed separately. One by one in order of severity I treat these guys in the physio marquee by the pool before setting them off for their dry land warm up next door.
Morning session done, I do a quick review of all the divers with the coaches and liaise with HQ to book massage slots or doctor’s appointments. I then check in with the swimming squad who are mid-way through their warm ups for morning heats and then it’s back to the Village for lunch, before heading back to HQ.
Lots of the athletes came through HQ, including Martyn Rooney from the athletics team, for the usual ice compression recovery treatments.
Many athletes hang out in the athlete lounge area within the Lion’s Den, where we have special BBC live feed to watch the various competitions with British commentary, as 7 Live here in the Gold Coast is too focused on Australia for us!
The Para Triathletes had a good morning winning gold in the men’s and women’s races. The Triathlete team sprint came in with a silver medal. Also Nile Wilson and James Hall won gold and silver in the gymnastics and Jack Oliver won silver in the men’s 77kg weightlifting… The medal tally is stacking up nicely. It’s always good to see our medal (surf) board starting to get full and athletes coming in fresh from competition still wearing their medals round their necks.
Double session tonight, with diving again first and then onto swimming for their finals session, where we should see some more medals.
Day 11 – 7 April 2018
This morning was spent in HQ treating some of the lawn bowls athletes. Some of the boxers needed a recovery massage and some athletes needed to be set up on the ice and compression recovery units. I then headed back to the pool to cover the divers’ training session.
The athletics started today. The rest of the athletics squad have now relocated to the Village from the Brisbane holding camp, so HQ has become a very busy place. There is constant activity with athletes from all sports in and out as part of their prep or recovery from competition with different sports starting and finishing at different times. Normally the team sports are the last in.
The track cyclists who have been staying and competing up the coast at Alexander Hills finished their campaign today and a few headed into the Village to complete their media commitments and spend a few days here.