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Monday, July 10, 2000
Technicians ready to help Paralympic athletes

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Medical staff coming together to treat the sprains and strains of Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Sydney will be joined by a team of highly trained technicians brought in to fix broken artificial limbs.

 Broken prosthesis can be a costly problem for athletes competing at the Oct. 18-29 Paralympics but Games sponsor Otto Bock will have a team of 50 technicians working on damaged artificial limbs to keep the athletes on track.

 Gunter Schumann, a spokesman for the German-based Otto Bock, said the technicians would be seconded into the Paralympic repair crew, which is expected to repair or adjust about 5,000 prosthesis during the Games.

 "Most athletes, especially in track and field, use for competition a special prosthesis, specially adjusted and fitted for those types of sports," he said. "Our part in this Games will be to fit them and help them if they have some problems with their prosthesis or wheelchairs."

 Three container loads of sophisticated equipment for the repair centres would be brought in from Europe, Schumann said Monday, which marked 100 days before the Paralympic opening ceremony.

 The repairs would be conducted at the Paralympic Village, at eight competition venues and in two mobile units.
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