August 11, 2012

The price of bronze

As my responsibilities at the Olympic Games wrap up, the time for reflection begins. 

Did my athletes perform to their abilities? What could I have done better? What can I change before the start of next season to help them improve even more?

During the games, there is no time for analysis. Working 18-hour days with minimal sleep, decisions need to be made instantaneously. I try to react to a challenging situation, make the best decision I can and move forward to the next race. 

The Olympics have been the most significant professional experience of my life. For a sports medicine practitioner, it doesn’t get any bigger. It is like the Super Bowl or the World Series — if they lasted for two weeks.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest athletes in the world, alongside some of the best doctors and therapists on the planet. I’ve learned more in London than in my first 12 years in practice. 


However, this experience has come at a price. I have a wife and two young children missing me at home. By the time I get back to Plattsburgh, I will have been away for almost 10 weeks. For young kids with little sense of time, two and a half months is an eternity. They were still in school when I left and will be starting school again when I get home.

Email and video chatting have helped us survive the months apart, but technology is limited. I can’t hug my daughter through the computer screen. I can’t make my son’s scraped knee stop bleeding by emailing him. It struck me during an early morning run a few days ago. I’ve missed an entire North Country summer. The entire school summer vacation for my kids … gone. 

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