Technology in Paralympic Sports – About the Speakers



Chairman: Prof. Dr. Yeshayahu “Shayke” Hutzler (Head, Graduate School, Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the Wingate Institute)

In the Paralympic Movement, since early days, technology applied to sport has played a major role both in training and in competition. This has been demonstrated in a variety of ways that ranged from technologies that enabled participation in sport, to the formation of totally new sports. The processes employed in the adoption of technology and technological methods to enhance sport have accelerated dramatically in recent years.

As part of the APCST 2017 program, and in collaboration between the APCST 2017 organizing committee and the Israeli Paralympic Committee, a decision was made to dedicate a full day for technology in Paralympic sports on October 16. For this particular day, Paralympian athletes, coaches, researchers and manufacturer of Paralympic sports’ equipment and technologies are invited.

Applications of Technology in Paralympic Sports – Introduction

Dr. Osnat Fliess-Douer (Zinman College, Wingate Institute)

The relationship between Paralympic sport and technology is as old as the Paralympic movement itself. In early days, adaptive technology used in Paralympic sport, as specific designed wheelchairs, allowed the sport to happen. Nowadays, advanced technology behind standard sport equipment aiming to enhance Paralympic sport performance (i.e. radical equipment designs such as energy-absorbing prostheses), is changing the Paralympic movement completely. As the pressure (or the need) for success piled up, the pace of change increased.

In this opening lecture, the different applications of technology in Paralympic sport will be screened and some ethical issues will be addressed

Strategies to improve physiological responses and athletic performance of the Paralympian

Prof. Dr. Daniel Theisen (Head of Laboratory – Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Luxembourg Institute of Health, Luxemburg)

Athletic performance can be defined as carrying out of specific physical routines or procedures by one who is trained or skilled in physical activity. Next to using optimal equipment and technology, performance is influenced by a combination of physiological, psychological, and biomechanical factors. Coaches and athletes need to rely on effective training methods, good nutrition and optimal recovery strategies to improve sports performance and gain a competitive advantage. The aim is to reach the fine balance between training stimulus and adaptation, which implies that the training load as well as the athlete’s health and injuries be monitored. This lecture will provide an overview of these key features, with a more specific focus on performance in athletes with a spinal cord injury.

Effective Feedback: Current technological innovation to monitor athletic performance, and useful methodological approach to feedback your athlete
Dr. Osnat Fliess Douer (Zinman College, Wingate Institute)Performance analysis provides the athletes and coaches with objective information that helps them understand performance. This process is underpinned by systematic observations and assessments, which provide valid, reliable and detailed information relating to performance.This objective data facilitates enhanced feedback between coaches and athletes and possibly lead to a greater performance impact. Essentially, it is about telling the athlete what actually happened as opposed to what they perceived to be happening. This session is particularly useful for trainers and athletes, and it aims to present strategies and tools to improve athletic performance by offering effective feedback.
About the speakers
Prof. Dr. Daniel Theisen has a PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Louvain (UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), where he worked as an assistant professor as of 2000. In 2007 he joined the then called Public Research Centre for Health, now the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), to develop research into sports medicine. Since 2009 he is head of the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory of the LIH. His research interests are with rehabilitation optimization following knee soft tissue injuries and sports injury prevention, with a strong focus on biomechanics and epidemiology of running-related injuries. Daniel currently has academic appointments at the UCL, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and at the Universidad Finis Terrae (Santiago, Chili).
Dr. Osnat Fliess Douer has a PhD in rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy from the Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences at KU Leuven, Belgium. She is an appointed lecturer and the director of the Hydrotherapy courses at the Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the Wingate Institute (Israel) since 1999.
Since 2012, Osnat is an Associate Professor at the International Master Programme in Adapted Physical Activity (IMAPA) at the catholic university of Leuven. Between 2003 and 2007 she was also a lecturer at Bar –Ilan University, Israel. For the last 7 years, Osnat is a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sport Science Committee (SSC) and represents the IPC SSC at the Classification Research & Development Centers’ Steering Group.Her recent research focuses on wheeled mobility rehabilitation in spinal cord injuries and on talent identification, development and classification issues of Paralympic athletes. Her coaching background is in wheelchair basketball where she is also a zonal classifier.