Canada Olympic Park Offers Hydrotherapy, World-Class Facilities To All Athletes

Canada Olympic Park Offers Hydrotherapy, World-Class Facilities To All Athletes

In February 1988 Calgary hosted what some call the most successful Olympic Games of all time. Fourteen hundred athletes from 57 countries came to Canada Olympic Park to compete and show the world what the Great White North had to offer world class athletes. Today, Canada Olympic Park, owned and operated by WinSport — a non-profit organization dedicated to becoming the world’s leading sport institute — continues to function as a multi-purpose competition and training centre for Canada’s most advanced athletes. With the addition of the recently completed Markin MacPhail Centre, WinSport now offers state-of-the-art hydrotherapy and year-round rehabilitation and medical services for both the high performance athlete and the average Canuck.

“The new facility offers an amazing array of tools to serve our patrons,” stated Natasha Slack, WinSport Medicine Clinic manager, “including four hockey rinks, multi-use meeting spaces and a medicine clinic, which features a HydroWorx aquatic therapy pool with an underwater treadmill.”

The new aquatic environment provides the benefits of treadmill training coupled with the non weight-bearing properties of water, both for high performance athletes and the general public. “It’s been tremendously valuable for anyone needing a low-impact setting or water resistance for rehabilitation,” continued Slack.

While investigating the possibilities of adding aquatic therapy to the mix of modalities at the centre, Slack and her associates looked at many options and spoke with professionals from around the continent.

“We have toured a few of the best professional teams’ facilities in the US,” remarked Kevin Wagner, BSc. (PT), “and were very impressed with what we saw offered through the HydroWorx tubs. We wanted to bring a form of hydrotherapy to our facility that was more than just whirlpools. We have found the combination of relaxation the water provides and the unloading of the joints increases our ability to get athletes into a good movement pattern and back to their sport faster.”

With the addition of the treadmill, WinSport plans to develop wellness programs and introduce the facility to new market segments to serve the area’s varied population, local sports groups and club level sports.

One patron — a skier — came to the centre with a fractured lower extremity and had begun to develop a “drop” foot.

“When he got in the water,” Wagner explained, “the movement of the foot slowed down and we could see very clearly see that the foot fluttered. The resistance of the water and the natural gait training the treadmill provides worked together to help us pick up this odd movement pattern and address it early in treatment.”

Slack concluded, “Our mission with the Medicine Clinic and really everything with WinSport is to create one of the most unique winter sport environments in the world, serve athletes of all levels and disciplines by providing world class facilities and to help our guests maintain an active lifestyle. And we’ve already seen profound effects.”

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Kevin Wagner, BSc. (PT), BPE (ATC), Dip. (Sport PT) and CAT(C) is the lead PT for the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary. He coordinates the physiotherapy services and providers for the athletes training with national sports organizations at the institute.

Natasha Slack serves as the Clinic Manager for the WinSport Medicine Clinic and is responsible for the business operations of the clinic.

About HydroWorx

HydroWorx, based in Middletown, Pennsylvania, offers a wide range of underwater treadmill therapy pools, peripheral products and services. Every day, more than 23,000 athletes and patients use HydroWorx technology to recover from injuries and health conditions.

More information about HydroWorx therapy pools can be found at


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