Sports dietitian Olivia Warnes (BNutDiet ‘03) jumped at the chance when a colleague invited her work with her as a Sports Dietitian for the 2021 Australian Paralympic team in Tokyo.
Due to COVID-19, the Medical Team for Paralympics Australia deemed the dining hall to be a high-risk environment, so for the first time ever, a two-person nutrition team (with a third sports dietitian joining for the final week) had to run a full food service for the Australian team. Managing fresh food and drink stocks, and staffing the Australian Tokyo Tuck Shop from 5am until midnight most days, the nutrition team worked throughout the Paralympics.
“We received incredible assistance from our performance services and operations teams, who provided iced drinks for pre-cooling the athletes in the extreme Tokyo heat, and urine specific gravity (USG) hydration testing – which would normally fall within the remit of a sports dietitian,” says Olivia.
Among the many highlights of this unforgettable experience, Olivia lists, “Working with an incredible performance services team, notably my colleague and Lead Sports Dietitian, Siobhan Crawshay, seeing the joy on the athletes’ faces with the provision of food they enjoy, attending Sam von Einem’s gold medal table tennis match, attending the marathon and seeing the Olympic Stadium, sharing in successes with athletes and teams, and finally the closing ceremony party within our allotment which include Karaoke!”
For the past 10 years Olivia has been working with elite sporting organisations including, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), AFL, and Cycling Australia. She is currently contracted with the South Australian Sports Institute and the Adelaide Thunderbirds Super Netball League team. She consults privately at Sportsmed SA. Livwellnutrition and Instagram: @livwell.nutrition