Dealing with sore muscles and injuries is always a worry for athletes and trainers. It’s of even greater concern at the pinnacle of sporting events — the Olympics.



But the U.S. team competing in the coming days in Athens hopes to have an edge in bouncing back from aches and pains through a device the size of a large toolbox.


The new technology, called the Game Ready system, made by CoolSystems in Berkeley, uses space-suit technology from NASA to help athletes recover from injuries using advanced cold and compression therapy.



Unlike the larger machines used by many professional sports teams, the device is portable — so much so that the U.S. Olympic contingent bought more than a dozen of the devices, which cost thousands of dollars each. The teams will have several at their disposal at the Summer Olympics, which begin this week.



“The guys who are serious about getting healthy are really loving it,” said former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, who is an investor in CoolSystems. “For the guys who seriously want to get better and get back on the field, this is really valuable. You can treat injuries more efficiently.”



Athletes typically get sore or strained muscles, but by recovering more quickly from those pains, they can return sooner to their training routines or actual competitions.



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