For the past year, I have had the pleasure of working for the New Zealand Olympic Track Cycling Team as their sports chiropractor and performance enhancement consultant.
I am now working with them in London at the Olympic Games.
Last October, I was hired by Bike New Zealand to analyze its cyclists, fix any injuries and evaluate their movement patterns. Basically, to see if I could help them perform better. In a sport decided by hundredths of a second, maximizing the ability of every joint and muscle is crucial.
Although it is tough being away from family, it is a fantastic gig. I get the privilege of traveling the world and working with elite athletes every day.
As popular as the Olympics are, most people don’t realize how much time and effort go into getting to the games. Referring to the importance of proper preparation, Muhammad Ali once said, “I run in the road long before I dance under the lights.”
Most athletes have been working for the past four years for a chance to compete in London. Training programs and sports-medicine care plans are established years in advance. Four years of lifting weights, eating a perfect diet and suffering through brutal training sessions — all for the chance to perform in front of the world.
After traveling with the team through Europe for the past eight weeks, it was finally time for our team to “dance under the lights.”
I arrived in the Olympic Athletes Village on July 27. As you might imagine, it is a huge compound, able to house more than 17,000 athletes and staff, roughly the same population as the City of Plattsburgh. There are 11 residential plots, each made up of five to seven blocks built around communal squares and courtyards. Each apartment provides state-of-the-art facilities for the athletes, including high-definition TV and wireless Internet.