Jan 29, 2015International Support
By Mike Phelps
There won’t be any athletic trainers on the medal stand during the Beijing Olympics, but odds are they’ll play a significant role in helping the athletes who do get there. A handful of athletic trainers from high schools and colleges across the country will be working in Beijing, while a pharmacist from Washington is also making the trip.
Texas State University Director of Athletic Training Jack Ransone, PhD, will serve as the medical coordinator for the U.S. Track and Field team at the Games in Beijing. Ransone also assisted the team in Athens in 2004, and is excited to be making the trip.
“It is an adventure that I’m looking forward to,” Ransone told News 8 Austin. “There’s so many new things that are going to be happening.”
Michigan State University will also be represented in Beijing by Dr. Larry Nassar, DO, ATC, FAOASM, a professor in the university’s Division of Sports Medicine and the national medical director for USA Gymnastics. Nassar, who will also act as a physician to the U.S. trampoline and tae kwon do teams, was also in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics and traveled to Sydney, Australia, in 2000.
On the high school level, Taylor (Fla.) athletic trainer Kermit Quisenberry has worked 12 years as a referee for Major League Soccer, and he’ll be making his Olympic debut in Beijing after being one of two U.S. referees selected to officiate the men’s soccer competition. Needless to say, the phone call caught Quisenberry by surprise.
“I was like, ‘Am I hearing this right?'” he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “It’s an amazing honor.”
Dave Andrews, a Gig Harbor (Wash.) High School Athletic Trainer, will be involved in the men’s soccer competition after being appointed to serve as the U.S. men’s soccer team’s head athletic trainer at the Beijing Olympics. He’ll manage injury prevention, evaluation, rehabilitation, nutrition, recovery, hydration, doping control, and communication with the chief medical officer.
“I look back at watching the Olympics as a kid,” Andrews told the Peninsula Gateway. “I’m very excited to be a part of the Olympics.”
Pharmacist Mike Pavlovich, a native of Selma, Calif., will be in attendance at the games as well, though for different reasons. He has compiled all the legal drugs that the 596 U.S. participants can use in Beijing, and will be the man filling the medications.
“I’ll be staying pretty busy,” Pavlovich told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “Obviously, when you have so many people for an athletic event, there are going to be some who need some medical aid. And that’s where I come in.”
Camas, Wash., native Mike Case, meanwhile, is one of 21 people who will staff the United States Olympic Committee’s High Performance Training Center in Beijing. Case will assist Olympians and their coaches during his two-week shift. His career – and life – nearly came to a screeching halt in 1994 when he was serving as a pit crew chief in Portland and was hit by a crashing car.
“My life was spared for a reason,” he told The Columbian. “It was worth it, because look at me now.”
Mike Phelps is an Assistant Editor at Training & Conditioning.