How Ear Plugs Helped the Olympians at Sochi 2014
PERFECTfit is proud to be British and of the British Olympic teams just back from the 2014 Sochi Olympic games. So, passionate as we are about all things custom and ear plugs, PERFECTfit looked into how athletes might be using ear plugs like ours. This article takes a look at all the professionals wearing custom ear plugs and protecting their hearing during the games:
Twenty five year-old German athlete Erik Lesser won a silver medal for his performance in the biathlon (men’s 20km individual race) in Sochi. Lesser comes from a family of Olympic stars. His grandfather was a German cross-country skier who represented East Germany in the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck. Lesser uses custom plugs during his races to reduce loud noise – which is important during biathlons as athletes to ski cross country and shoot a rifle in the same event. By using his custom shooting plugs, Lesser can hear his coach and his supporters while staying safe from the sound of the rifles firing in the shooting range. This allows him to stay focused and perform at this best.
Kerry Gillespie of The Star asked Canadian athletes about what they like to do when on tour, off the snow and ice, and their must-haves when touring. Canadian female athletes Caroline Calve (alpine snowboarder), Heather Moyse (bobsleigh) and Hayley Wickenheiser (hockey) all named ear plugs on their “must-have” list when on tour. Moyse commented on the fact that sleep plugs could often be the difference between “tossing and turning” and ensuring a good night’s rest.
Even Canadian ice hockey head coach Mike Babcok commented on athletes wearing ear plugs while on tour, saying that the athletes used ear plugs and eye covers to try and reduce the effects of jet lag from staying up and sleeping at odd times due to the different time zones.
As athletics, supporters, tourists and media all congregated in the Olympic Village, the noise level increased with the hustle, bustle and excited chatter of those visiting Sochi. British triple jump Olympian Jonathan Edwards suggests visitors to the Olympic Village always use ear plugs due to the noise. For those who want to sleep during the day or at unusual times, ear plugs can really ensure a good night’s rest.
So earplugs may be small, but they likely have played an important part in helping athletes perform at their best: both on the slopes, but also by ensuring Olympic athletes had a good night’s sleep before their competitions.
Perhaps next time, PERFECTfit will be directly supporting Team GB throughout the Olympics as well as providing the rest of Britain with the best earplug technology available in the UK.