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Preparing the cream of our snow champs

NOOSA sports physiotherapist Peter Hogg was right at home during his fifth Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. He is now set for South Korea in February next year.
NOOSA sports physiotherapist Peter Hogg was right at home during his fifth Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. He is now set for South Korea in February next year.

NOOSA physiotherapist Peter Hogg calls it the vanilla ice cream approach that has become a proven winner for our Winter Olympians.

He may practise in a sub-tropical paradise but it's clear he has the handle on what it takes to get elite athletes prepared for competition in considerably cooler environments.

That knack has seen Peter selected as team physio for Australia's freestyle moguls team rated as strong medal chances at PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

He says Britt Cox, who won six of nine World Cup events last year and the world title, and Matt Graham, who won two World Cup events last year and finished third for the season, are both strong gold or silver medal chances.

Now the longest-serving physio on the Australian Winter Olympics team, Peter said it was a 45-day commitment in which most of the hard work was done in the lead up getting athletes just right for competition.

He has a strong relationship with head coach Steve Desovich, with whom he has worked for the past 20 years and who has three Olympic gold and one silver medallists to his credit.

The trick is knowing when to flick the on and off switches.

"We are a serious bunch,” Peter said. "But there is a very real camaraderie and mateship as well.

"The athletes train super hard.”

Behind them functions a very organised structure that ensures everything happens as expected, be that training warm ups, transportation, video sessions, accommodation or recovery and careful rehabilitation.

"We do not let up,” Peter said.

"It's 45 days with the team where you can't really ever relax. There's a lot of discipline involved.

"I call it the vanilla ice cream approach - it's good ice cream but consistent.”

It's a structure that Peter says has helped him grow in his own life because of the amazing strength from consistently getting all the little things right.

It results in athletes calmed by what they see around them and which steers clear of the glitz and distraction.

The Winter Olympics run from February 9-25 but before that there will be pre-Games training in the United States as the athletes - who compete in only the one event and get only one shot every four years - work to reach the peak of their abilities.


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