CHIROPRACTIC AT THE OLYMPICS
by Dr. Brian S. Seaman, DC, FCCSS(C), FICC
For many years, athletes have consulted with, and been
treated by chiropractors. The sports chiropractor is familiar
with the type of injuries athletes encounter as a result
of their endeavors, as well as the diagnosis, treatment
and rehabilitation of these conditions. Sports, as well
as any type of fitness activity (including walking) involves
movement chiropractic deals with problems related
to joint mobility, muscle imbalances and muscle weaknesses.
After examining an athlete, a chiropractor will decide
on a diagnosis and best approach to treatment, as well
as what exercises or modifications to training are needed
to have the athlete back to the top of his or her game.
Currently, in Canada there is a group which represents
the five (5) health care professions which look after
our athletes at major sporting events such as the Pan
American Games and Olympics (Winter and Summer). These
professions include Medicine, Physiotherapy, Athletic
Therapy, Massage Therapy and of course Chiropractic.
Sports Chiropractic is one (1) of the five (5) chiropractic
specialties in Canada recognized by the Canadian Federation
of Chiropractic Regulatory Boards. The CFCRB is the national
organization made up of provincial chiropractic licensing
bodies in Canada. For instance, in Nova Scotia, the Chair
of the Board of the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors,
is a representative to the CFCRB.
Specialists in Sports Chiropractic have achieved their
Fellowship as a result of an academic program which has
been developed by the College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences
(Canada). These chiropractors are identified by the designation
FCCSS(C). Achieving Fellowship status is one of the requirements
necessary for a chiropractor to be considered for selection
as a member of the health care team which accompanies
our athletes to major sporting events.
For athletes, there is no greater honour than representing
their country. As a chiropractor, there is no greater
honour than being asked to represent your profession.
For the sports chiropractor, the proudest moment is not
only to represent your profession, but also your country
at a sporting event such as the Pan American Games or
Olympics. I have had the honour of being a member of Host
Medical Services for the 1988 Winter Olympics which were
held in Calgary as well as being a member of Canadas
Health Care Team at the last Pan American Games (Winnipeg,
1999) and for the Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City, February
In Salt Lake City, Canada will be sending 155 athletes
plus Mission Staff totaling approximately 340 people.
The Mission Staff, are the individuals who over see a
variety of activities and work "behind the scenes".
Within the SLC Mission Staff, there are five (5) Maritimers;
four from New Brunswick and myself from Nova Scotia.
As Maritimers, we should be very proud that Sally Rehorick,
from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, was
named as the Chef du Mission for our Olympic Team. As
part of her "personal mission", Sally is trying
out all of the sports at the Winter Olympics! The other
New Brunswickers on the Olympic Mission Staff are Betty
Dermer-Norris (Director of Operations in Athletes Village),
Bill MacGillvary Canada Olympic House) and Stephane Hachey
(Transportation Officer). We are all Maritimers, and very
proud to represent Canada at such an event.
Included within the mission staff is the Health Care Team
(previously referred to as the Medical Team). The Health
Care Team consists of a clinic manager (Antoine Attalah
from Montreal) as well as 25 health care professionals.
nine (9) physicians (including 2 orthopedic surgeons)
eleven (11) therapist (athletic therapists and physiotherapists)
three (3) massage therapists
two (2) chiropractors
The other chiropractor on the Health Care Team is a colleague
from Calgary, Dr. Greg Uchacz. Dr. Uchacz is the team
doctor for the Canadian Bobsled and Skeleton Teams.
The Chief Medical Officer for the Health Care Team is
Dr. Bob Foxford. Dr. Foxford is an emergency room physician
in Montreal. Our Chief Therapist is Cindy Hughes who is
an athletic therapist with York University in Toronto.
Bob and Cindy over see the medical team along with Antoine,
who has the task of arranging for mass unit equipment
to be compiled and shipped to Salt Lake City and ensuring
everything runs smoothly.
Within the Health Care Team there is literally representation
from coast to coast; British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Being a member of Canadas Health Care Team requires
each health care professional to be a team player. It
is also a great experience. There is seldom a day go by
that there is not an exchange of great ideas and information
which in turn can benefit the athletes. Chiropractors,
as are all the members of the Health Care Team, are relied
upon by the athletes, coaches and other mission staff
to provide quality care during the Olympics. As an example,
as a member of the Health Care Team at the Pan American
Games in 1999, athletes from 21 different sports, were
seen for treatment over a period of 3 weeks.
If you have any questions about your exercise program
or fitness endeavors, do not hesitate to contact your
chiropractor. Chiropractors have considerable experience
in evaluating what type of exercise would be appropriate
which in turn can enhance your overall health.
I am certain you will join me in wishing all the best
to our Canadian athletes as they compete in Salt Lake
City. They are a great group of individuals and their
efforts are a direct reflection of the considerable dedication
which they have shown over the years.
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