The pinnacle of sporting achievement, the goal to which all athletes aspire is the winning of a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
2012, a year perfectly divisible by 4 – it’s the summer Olympics! Held this time in London of course, the excitement is electric all around the world. 204 countries are sending more than 10,000 athletes to compete in 302 events at 36 sports.
10 days and counting are left before the opening ceremonies begin. The torches left Mount Olympus and flew to the UK on a golden coloured British Airways jumbo jet on May 19th and athletes both famous and special have carried the flame across the nation.
Team USA is comprised of 530 athletes and a staff of 80 medical doctors 18 of whom are chiropractors.
For the first time in history Team USA features more female athletes - 269 -than men - 261. The United States will be represented in 25 sports (38 disciplines) and 246 of the medal events being contested in London.
The Paralympics will start on August 29th and run through 9th September. 350 athletes will be representing the USA. Modeled on the Olympic Games, this is an international sport event for world-class athletes living with a disability. The origin of the Paralympics Games dates back to 1948, in a spinal cord injury unit in the Stoke Mandeville Rehabilitation Hospital, England. Sport, movement and competition were found to improve recovery in WW2 veterans.
This is the first time that Team USA has employed the services of chiropractors making their services available to all the athletes rather than having only personal or team chiropractors. The men’s senior water polo team has as their head coach a chiropractor. Volunteer chiropractors have been serving on team USA since 1976.
Nowadays all major sporting teams have chiropractors on staff as a matter of course. It matters not whether athletes practice contact sports or those which are not typically regarded as potentially dangerous. Vigorous, rigorous training and exercise strains the body. Exertion requires the neurological skeletal and chemical structure of the body to behave in a completely different manner than usual. This causes the athletes joints to be put under terrific strain, resulting in, at times, subluxations or VSC.
For example just the act of walking exerts three times one’s body weight on the ankle joint at each step. Jogging is in the range of more than 15 times your body weight.
Dr. Chad Woolner is an American Chiropractor who will be heading to the games to take care of Justin Ruiz, a US Olympic athlete competing in Greco-Roman wrestling. Dr. Woolner was interviewed and explained why many professional athletes turn to Chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has "been shown to improve athletic performance byover 16.5%." Think, these sportsmen are at the very top level in their field and yet chiropractic care improves their performance!
Further, "athletes these days are in the most competitive atmosphere we have ever seen. Chiropractic care plays a huge role within musculoskeletal performance, protection against injury, and recovery from injuries. That is why a large number of pro athletes are investing in Chiropractic care."
As we have discussed in the past, not all chiropractors are born equal or the same or have the same approach to maintaining the total health of the body. I have as one of my patients a member of the Redskins Football team; although there is a chiropractor on staff, he prefers to see a Gonstead doctor as the treatment we offer encompasses the whole spine, but only seeks to address the cause of the problems where subluxations are present.
He reminds me of a gladiator. He is trained to perfection; he brings his all to the field in front of thousands of spectators, millions when it is televised. He knows he will be hurt and will try his best to hurt the other team by protecting his quarterback and knocking holes in their line of defense.
Team USA is made of the ultimate gladiators. Not fighting to the death as their counterparts in previous centuries or millennia, but in the one competition on earth where their heroism reflects for all time on their country in the world arena. I wonder how many times my breath will catch in my throat as I see Old Glory raised above the winners’ podium and hear our National anthem played in triumph.
Yours in Health
Dr. J B Whitlow
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Fun Facts:
- Forty-four states are represented, including 128 athletes hailing from California, 35 from both New York and Pennsylvania and 33 from Texas.
- The oldest and youngest Olympians on the 2012 Olympic Team – equestrian athlete Karen O’Connor, 54, and swimmer Katie Ledecky, 15 – are separated by 39 years, while the average age is 27.
- Basketball center Tyson Chandler checks-in as the tallest member of Team USA at 7 feet, 1 inch, and at 4 feet, 11 inches, three athletes are tied as the shortest members of Team USA – diver Katie Bell, wrestler Clarissa Chun and gymnast Gabby Douglas.
- Team USA features two sets of twins in tennis players Bob and Mike Bryan and rowers Grant and Ross James. Other team siblings include swimmers Alyssa and Haley Anderson, taekwondo athletes Diana and Steven Lopez, sailors Paige and Zach Railey, field hockey players Julia and Katie Reinprecht, water polo players Jessica and Maggie Steffans and tennis players Serena and Venus Williams.
- Sixty-seven members of Team USA have children; there are 54 dads and 13 moms.
- Serving in the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program are Spc. Dennis Bowsher (modern pentathlon), Sgt. 1st Class Dremiel Byers (wrestling), Spc. Justin Lester (wrestling), Sgt. Spenser Mango (wrestling), Sgt. John Nunn (track & field), Sgt. 1st Class Keith Sanderson (shooting) and Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski (shooting)
- The following shooters serve in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit: Sgt. Glenn Eller, Sgt. Vincent Hancock, Sgt. Michael McPhail, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker, Staff Sgt. Joshua Richmond and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft.