Wolfgang Schobersberger has a responsible task at the Winter Games in Beijing. The director of the Institute for Sport, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism in Innsbruck, who also acts as the chief medical officer for the ÖSV and the ÖOC, is the chairman of the medical and scientific committee.
KURIER: Do you know what to expect at the Olympics?
Wolfgang Schobersberger: Of course, I know a lot more than the average athlete and coach because I also work behind the scenes. Regardless of Covid, the medical care at the games will be very good. There are top hospitals and medical facilities are available. Nevertheless, a large number of international physicians will also be represented there.
Because Chinese doctors lack experience?
Where can you find 20 Chinese doctors standing on the icy slope with crampons or coming down the slope on skis? In alpine competitions, in snowboarding or in ski cross, where athletes have to be rescued, experience is required. That is why an international group of experts is involved in these competitions. By the way, it was no different in South Korea four years ago.
Unlike 2018, the world is in a pandemic. How much does Corona hover over the Olympics?
Corona not only hovers over these games, it’s even a thick fog. Namely in the sense that many people are unsettled. These are my ninth games, you have a certain routine there, but none of us have any experience in China.
What’s the big concern?
It is known that there is zero tolerance in China when it comes to Covid. We can see that in the way they treat their own people. Each individual travels with the residual risk and the concern not to get sick there. I feel the same way. If someone says they don’t give a damn, then they’re the coolest dog I know.