Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

On the 8th of April 2018, the wonderful experience began with a 5 am start at Carrara Indoor Stadium. Having arrived the night before, I was jet lagged and tired. My first morning began with an early rise at 3.30 am, out the door by 4.30 am and ready to go by 5 am.

First up I met the rest of the medical team that was on shift with me, Doctors, other Physios, Nurses, Massage Therapists, Sports Trainers and of course the team co-coordinators. We received a complete orientation of the facility and a rundown of the protocol and schedule for the day.  With the help of the Queensland Ambulance Service we practised getting injured athletes off the stage with a stretcher.  This was extremely important especially if any athlete suffered a neck or spinal injury.  This process was practised every day so that every person knew exactly what role to play in this event and it was a very precise manoeuvre.

My first event was Weightlifting and I was lucky enough to be allocated the role in ‘field of play’, which means I was right near the stage where all the action was.  This was fantastic as I got to watch all the competition up close but at the same time was always on the alert in case an injury occurred.  This role was always alongside one of our doctors as well as the Weightlifting Federation Doctor.  I had my first moment on television at this event because anyone watching the live streaming could see me sitting near the stage.  (I made sure my family spotted me!)

On day 2 my role changed and I was in the Medical Facility and moved between the warm up area of Badminton and Weightlifting.  Here I was available to treat any athlete from any Commonwealth country as required.

Day 3 was another fantastic day as I was allocated ‘field of play’ for Badminton.  What a fast and exciting game.  I didn’t appreciate the skill of Badminton players until I sat courtside for 4 hours.  I had my second television appearance assisting our doctor with a athlete’s knee injury.

Day 4, 5 and 6 continued with daily Badminton, but the highlight of the games for me was Day 5 doing ‘field of play’ for the Para Powerlifting. I was amazed and in awe of these athletes with such strength and courage.

My final day (6) ended with being in the warm up area for the Wrestling.  This was very different for me as I had not been exposed to wrestling before.  I find it a difficult sport to watch as the injuries are quite nasty and we certainly had our fair share of terrible injuries.

So was the journey worth it?…. Absolutely.

Would I do it again?…. Absolutely.

Other medical professionals that I met and worked with were amazing and inspiring people.  Not only did we all work hard but we also had fun and many laughs.

This experience was the highlight of my 30 year career as a physio. I’m so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and challenged myself.  I went to the games not knowing anyone and came away with new friends that I will remember always.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018……awesome!!