A German man’s ‘love’ with Vietnamese sports

June 14, 2006

A man has quietly collected old photos for 14 years and for the same amount of time, he has travelled on and off between Germany and Vietnam. Each year, he goes to Vietnam four or five times to complete his good plans to help Vietnam build a sport hospital. He has helped Vietnam treat many injured athletes and footballers. He is Dr Nobert Moss. Lam Binh profiles him.

In Germany, there is a concept of the 1968 generation, depicting a generation of people who had gone out protesting the war in Vietnam and supporting the resistance war of the Vietnamese people in the late 1960s. Dr Moss is one of the people of the generation. Along with great memories of his young age, Dr Moss has a deep love for Vietnam.

He is a leading therapist in Germany, specialising in functional rehabilitation. He pays a special attention to sport medicine. In the field, he often uses new materials to make artificial joints.

Vu Cong Lap, director of the Institute of Biomedical Physics under the Science and Technology Centre of the Ministry of Defence, defended his doctorate in Germany and knew about the talent of Dr Moss. In 1996, when he was in Germany, Mr Lap could not hide his tears watching star midfielder Nguyen Hong Son receiving a bronze medal with his broken leg.

After contacting with Mr Lap, Hong Son travelled to Germany for treatment. Dr Moss treated Hong Son’s injury and after just eight months, the midfielder made an outstanding return.

Since then, Dr Moss has treated 250 Vietnamese athletes directly or developed methods for treating them.

Among 18 Vietnamese former stars playing a farewell friendly against the former stars of Thailand, six had their injuries treated by Dr Moss.

Ten years ago, officials of the Vietnamese physical education and sport service understood Vietnam’s demand for international integration, especially in football. For a successful international integration, Vietnam needed to develop sport medicine to help athletes to treat their injuries and rehabilitate.

Dr Moss has worked with the Vietnamese physical education and sport service on the idea of establishing the Vietnam Sports Hospital. Apart from scientific and technological aspects, Dr Moss said he wanted the hospital to become a beautiful architectural work. Therefore, he paid for a German architect’s travel and work in Vietnam for one week to produce a design suitable with Vietnam’s conditions.

The German has given a good care to training Vietnamese doctors and nurses, qualified for working in sport medicine. He said he would organise groups of German doctors and medical staff members from his hospital in Bonn to go to Vietnam to work and help Vietnamese colleagues.

Mr Lap said that when he visited Dr Moss’s house for the first time he had been impressed by bamboos and items originated from Vietnam.

In 2004, when his son was 17 years old, Dr Moss took him to Vietnam, where he lived for one year. Dr Moss hired a boat to take his son along the Saigon River. He said he wanted his son to know about the daily life of the Vietnamese people, who tried to keep their cultural identity despite poverty. He went on to say that he wanted his son to continue his path to develop a close relationship with Vietnam.

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