Olympics Leg Break

Even Olympians Need Protection

The world has watched in awe at events in Rio as Team GB have won medal after medal as they look on track to beat their previous haul at Beijing 2008; making these games their most successful overseas Olympics in British history.  Building on the enormous success of winning 65 medals at London 2012, they currently sit just 7 medals behind their previous overseas best, with 3 weeks still to go. 

The medals continue to be won, with inspirational efforts in the velodrome, the rowing, gymnastics, swimming and athletics…who knew we were so good at trampolining?!

But for many at Rio 2016, all hasn’t gone to plan, few more so than the French gymnast Samir Ait Said who when competing in the men’s vault qualifying competition suffered a double leg break forcing his exit from the competition.  I’ll spare you the images, but safe to say it’s unbelievable to see how composed he remained whilst receiving treatment!

In a video posted after undergoing emergency surgery in Rio, the gymnast said: “I want to thank you all for your messages of support, it really heartened me, it felt good, it really boosted my morale.”

Ait Said explained that the double open fracture of the tibia and fibula “required immediate surgery, which went very well. I can be back on my feet in not very long, well ‘on my feet’, everything is relative.”

It’s hard to believe that after doing the same thing day in, day out for so long could lead to such a catastrophic outcome, leaving him unable to do the thing he enjoys most.  What if the same happened to you?

As you go about your work day in day out, doing what you’ve always done…what if something happened to you that meant you were unable to work for an extended period of time?

You will know from many of our previous posts on our blog and social media that at Vita we’re passionate about making sure people are protecting the things that are most important to them – their family, their homes, their livelihoods. The thing that underpins most of these things is your income.

The Income Protection section of our website gives a wealth of information about the benefits of ensuring your income is protected against anything physically or mentally that stops you doing your job. There is also a handy template you can copy to email your work HR team to clarify what benefits you would get in the event of long term sickness – you may be surprised about how little you would be entitled to, which again begs the question – how would you cope?  How would you pay your mortgage or rent?  How would you pay for your monthly food bill?  How would you pay for your TV package that allows you to watch the Olympics?!  I would strongly encourage you to find out what you’re entitled to, and ask yourself those questions.

Another benefit available with one particular insurer, Friends Life, is an add-on called ‘Fracture Cover’.  At a cost of just a few pounds per month, this can be added on to any benefit (ie. Life Cover, Critical Illness Cover or Income Protection), and will pay a small lump sum in the event of you fracturing a bone.  The benefit is relative to the injury – for example, a fractured arm may pay £1,200, a fractured collarbone £600.  In the event of the French gymnast, a benefit of £1,200 may have been payable for his lower leg.

While this wouldn’t replace income for an extended period of time (income protection would do that), this would at least provide some financial relief at what is inevitably a stressful time not being able to carry out your normal day to day tasks.

The good news is that Samir Ait Said is aiming to be back in training soon after his recovery, working towards competing at the Olympics in Tokyo, 2021.  I hope that as you’ve watched the Olympic games unfold in Rio, you’ve been inspired by the dedication of the athletes involved.

If you would like to speak with one of our expert Protection Advisers about fracture cover, protecting your income, or just to discuss the current benefits that you have in place through your employer and what that means for you, please feel free to call us on 0800 988 36 37 or fill out your details at the contact us page, and we will call you back.


Paul Reed – Protection Specialist and Co-founder of Vita – an independent, national award winning, insurance brokerage in Cardiff.

Photo Source Credit: Daily Mail