Longevity in the Paralympics, by medicine and technology

Of the total 60 Mexican nationals who participated in the Tokyo Paralympics, five are 50 years old or older and 10 are between 40 and 49 years old. While at 35 the traditional athlete is considered to be in the final stage of his career, it is common to see Paralympic athletes competing at the best level over 40 thanks to the peculiarities of their workload in their training, competencies, discipline, medical support, and sophistication of technology in sports equipment.

The oldest Mexican athletes at Tokyo 2020 are swimmer Patricia Valle and discus thrower Estelas Salas, both aged 52. Claudia Perez (table tennis), Edgar Navarro (athletics) and Patricia Barcenas (weightlifting) is 50 years old. Among those who have won a medal as of August 31 are Nelli Miranda, 49 (swimmering), Amalia Perez, 48 (weightlifting) and Arnulfo Castorina, 43 (swimming).

“Unlike traditional sports, Paralympic athletes remain more active, even when they are no longer able to improve their records, because there is no program that can lead them to work. They try to prolong their sporting lives, even if they are not yet the peak or results that have placed them in the elite of world sport. , but as long as they can remain in the finalists and nonetheless continue to receive the benefits of support and scholarships.”, he told this newspaper. Federal Sports Specialist, Juan Manuel Rotter.

Dr. Edgar Arriaga, a sports physician who worked for seven years as the head of medical services at the Sports Institute in Nuevo Leon, explained to El Economista that athletes, both Paralympic and traditional, have workloads with different characteristics, which contributes to enabling adaptive athletes to extend their careers for a longer period.

“Frictional positions that can affect other traditional athletes, appear to be different in Paralympic athletes. Speak, for example, of positions with continuous impact (as in) a diver, a gymnast, with other influencing factors such as height, strength, and power” .

And the specialist adds: “All this combination of sports externalities can bring with it more friction and wear. In Paralympic patients, we must also take into account that, in many of them, sports equipment can also favor them a little more and the intensity of the sport (… .) But we should not ignore the demand that Paralympic athletes demand of the physical activity bred in their sport is also high.”

In addition, technology has helped increase the performance of Paralympic athletes, to the point of sparking debate over the competitive advantages offered by the use of prosthetics on both legs, but at the same time, the advancement of technological tools has made it possible to prolong sports careers, both in traditional athletes and in the Paralympics.

“A lot has been added to the teams’ equipment, to enhance performance, but also to prevent injury. Technology has played an integral role in prolonging his sporting life,” Arriaga said.

Nutrition and physiotherapy are sciences that contribute to maintaining the physical condition of athletes, however, Aryaga noted that the main thing is for the athlete to acquire a specialty that directs him towards professionalism, i.e. “Learning to eat, knowing that you have to generate good training, and not quantitatively, you must Document and study your topic, not just relying on the training plan developed by your coach; continuous training of the athlete leads to success in terms of education and a better understanding of their sport.”

El médico del deporte explicó que no es posible establecer un rango de duración de la carrera de un atleta paralímpico, pues “hay muchos factores que pueden venir a 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, since the facilities offered by Conadi and the Mexican Paralympic Committee are centralized, since their operation is limited to the country’s capital.

“Many of them, who work in other countries, sometimes find it more difficult to find 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. It’s between 200 and 500 pesos and they have to do it three or four times a week.Arriaga noted that feeding sessions, which is definitely also a session every 15 days, are also high.

The Olympic Sports Medicine Clinics, run by Dr. Eduardo Arriaga, serves paratriathlon player Brenda Osnaya.

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