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A flying doctor with a difference

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A flying doctor with a difference

​Doctors are well practiced in detecting slipped discs.

But few would be as adept with flying discs as Dr Olivia Carr.

In fact, the Western Health Medical Intern is one of Australia's finest Flying Disc athletes.

Dr Carr was one of 14 athlete's chosen to represent the country in the Flying Disc competition at the World Games, an international sporting event comprising sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games.

Most people are familiar with Frisbee, which is the trademark name for the Flying Disc, but may not know that it is a competitive sport, which has been a medal sport in the Games since 2001.

Last month the top eight Flying Disc teams in the world vied for a gold medal in the 2022 event in the United States of America.

Turns out the Australian team, known as the 'Crocs' had plenty of bite, taking home the silver medal after losing narrowly to the USA team.

When she's not competing on the world stage, the 25 year old Victorian is working at Western Health. She completed a 10 week stint in the Emergency Department (ED) and she is now working in Theatre.

Dr Carr's Flying Disc career began in 2019, almost by accident, when she moved to Tasmania to study Medicine and was seeking a social outlet.

When asked to describe the sport to the uninitiated, Dr Carr said it combined elements of soccer, netball and rugby.

"It's seven players on each side and you score by taking the disc down the field and catching it in the air," Dr Carr said.

"Once you catch the disc you can't move until you pass it to another player and it involves a lot of running, jumping and diving."

After initially starting the sport as a second year medical student, Dr Carr took a year off her studies to return to Melbourne to focus more on playing Frisbee.

"The first time I played for Australia was in 2019 where I played in the under 24 team, which was amazing.

"Then COVID came along and I returned to Tassie to study and then this year I decided to try out of the Australian team and I was delighted to make the side."

An interesting aspect of the game is that it is self-refereed, which Dr Carr said was a fantastic way to learn conflict resolution skills, particularly when the players speak another language.

Dr Carr said it was an incredible experience travelling the world with Australia's top players, who are all firm friends.

"It has been a fantastic to spend time with a great group of people and that's one of the things I love about the Frisbee community, it's so welcoming, supportive and gender inclusive."

In Flying Disc terms, Dr Carr is an offensive cutter, which works to her strengths of running, diving and catching.

"You have to be pretty fit, fast and athletic to play," she said.

"Once I made the team, basically all I would do is work all week and then either train for, or play frisbee all weekend.

"I was either at work or the gym, but it was so fun and rewarding and it was great to have something outside of work that I could do that was physically challenging, but lots of fun.

"When I was playing, I didn't think about work, it was almost a form of mindfulness."

Dr Carr said competing on the world stage wouldn't have been possible without the support of her workplace.

"I just want to give a bit shout out to Western Health's Dr Sean Frabis, our Supervisor of Intern Training, who helped me secure the leave I needed to train and compete, and all my fellow interns who kindly swapped their shifts with me, so I could play on the weekends."