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Physiotherapy Lecturer Sian Knott, named Team GB Chief Physiotherapist for Beijing 2022

12 November 2021

Sian Knott

Lecturer Sian Knott of the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University has been selected as the chief physiotherapist for Team GB at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Sian is ‘absolutely delighted and thrilled’ to have been selected. Head of School, Professor David Whitaker, has stated: ‘Sian’s appointment as Chief Physiotherapist for the Beijing 2022 Games is great news for Cardiff University and is the latest in a long line of prestigious appointments to GB team events. Well-done Sian, we’re all proud of you!’

Sian has significant experience having participated with Team Wales at previous Commonwealth Games as well as supporting in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Sian is aware these games will likely be very different to anything she has experienced before: ‘I am excited that I have been offered this opportunity but expect it be challenging because of the additional complexities of the Covid pandemic.’

As the athletes have not yet officially been selected for Team GB and are undergoing qualifications and the nomination processes, Sian details the recruitment of physiotherapists and fortnightly senior management team meetings.

‘The SMT meetings discuss all aspects of the games preparations from logistics to friends / family, media, COVID etc. We have been identifying ‘what if’ scenarios and planning against those as well as ensuring that we have appropriate standard operating procedures in place that will enable athletes to perform.’

Team GB will likely have a team of around 60 athletes for participation in the games. Sian details: ‘The difficulty of the games is that it they are split across 3 sites, one in Beijing city (ice sports e.g., speed skating, figure skating, curling), one in the mountains (snow sports) and one brand new centre facility for the pushing /sliding sports (luge, bob skeleton etc) which is mid-way between the mountain and city venues.’

With this split structure, Sian explains how each site will require a base for physiotherapists and therefore three headquarters will be established: ‘We will have to have one doctor and one physiotherapist at each cluster as well as sport specific physiotherapists who will travel with some sports.’

Sian states: ‘We have a great team of staff heading out to Beijing and I am really looking forward to working with them all to support the athletes in the best way that we can.’

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