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New Zealand Paralympic Champion, Anna Grimaldi, takes to the Environmental Chamber

Wednesday 24 July 2019 9:49am

Anna Grimaldi in the environmental chamber image
New Zealand Paralympic Athlete Anna Grimaldi working hard in the environmental chamber.

Over the Semester break, we had the pleasure of working with New Zealand Paralympic Athlete Anna Grimaldi and her team from High Performance Sport NZ in preparation for upcoming major competitions.

Anna competes in the Women’s T47 Long jump and has previously won Gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and bronze at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships. Anna is due to compete at the Para Athletics World Championship later this year in Dubai and looking further forward, is preparing for Tokyo 2020. Conditions in both Dubai and Tokyo pose a potential issue for athletes with temperature highs of over 30°C and an average relative humidity of 70%.

The predicted conditions during Tokyo 2020 are expected to exert significant heat stress and in turn impact on athletic performance and well-being, if not managed correctly. One way in which athletes can prepare for such conditions is through heat acclimation, which has been shown to improve heat tolerance and the body’s ability to offload heat. It is also important for athletes to consider a hydration and cooling strategy and incorporate this into their competition regime. However, it should be noted that an athlete’s approach in preparing for such conditions is very individual and should largely depend on the demands of their event.

Here at the School of Physical Education Sport and Exercise Sciences we are lucky to have experts in the field of environmental physiology and facilities such as the Environmental Chamber. The chamber is heavily used for research aiming to better our understanding of how our systems react and adapt to different environments. It also provides an invaluable tool for athletes, like Anna, looking to compete and prepare for tough conditions such as Tokyo. We look forward to welcoming Anna and her team back to the School over the next few months!

For more information about the above article and Environmental Chamber please contact

Holly Foskett
School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences
University of Otago
Email sports-testing@otago.ac.nz