Hands-on role for Mansfield massage expert at London 2012 Olympics

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MANSFIELD’S David Palmer has landed a hands-on role at the heart of London 2012 after volunteering to be a sports massage practitioner during the games.

David Palmer, a qualified sports and Swedish massage practitioner who has lived in Mansfield for more than 40 years, is providing pre and post-event massage to athletes participating in the Taekwando events.

He applied two years ago to volunteer at the home games after his previous boss, chiropractor Thomas Jepperson, had returned from the Beijing Olympics of 2008.

David was invited to an interview last August, and was selected in May, along with 70,000 other successful applicants from the initial 250,000.

There are 2,500 volunteers in the medical department where David works, which includes consultants, doctors, nurses, physios and a small number of sports massage practioners.

“I have enjoyed treating major athletes from all over the world, and am very proud to be working with people from all corners of the globe,” David said. “The kudos among the volunteers is breathtaking.”

After undergoing intense training during the six days leading up to the opening ceremony, David has since offered pre and post-event massage to major athletes from around the world, including Afghanistan’s first ever Olympic medallist Rohullah Nikpai and Jordanian Taekwondo champion, Mohammad Abulibdeh.

David, who is staying with friends, is based at The Langdon School in Barking, London, which is acting as the training camp for Taekwando athletes for the duration of the Olympics.

David is then moving to the Excel stadium for the knockout stages and medals, where he also has the honour of watching some of the athletes compete.

David currently works at Sherwood Forest Center Parcs as a massage therapist, where he says fellow colleagues are ‘rooting for him’ and proud to know someone involved in the Olympics.