TOI at the Olympic Training Center

by admin September 22, 2010
One of The Orthopaedic Institute’s physical therapists, Joyce Shahboz, recently returned from spending two weeks at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The center is a training ground for a wide variety of athletes year round. There are resident athletes who live and train on the university-like campus all year, youth developmental groups and national athletes who train there seasonally. Triathlons, equestrian events, weight-lifting competitions, cycling races and other sporting events are held at the training camp as well.

Shahboz got involved with the training center last year when she went as an assistant coach for a local swim team. She put in an application to be a volunteer physical therapist and was accepted.

The two weeks Shahboz spent at the training center were mostly spent with a youth gymnastic camp. The camp consisted of an elite group of 10 to 11-year-old boys who are future Olympic hopefuls.

“I was in awe at how intelligent and driven the boys were,” said Shahboz. “There were few complaints, they went out and did what their coaches told them to. They all wanted to be there and to succeed.”

Despite practice two times per day, all of the boys were having fun and just being kids. It was a very positive atmosphere, she said.

Shahboz worked as a trainer – taping ankles and wrists, stretching the athletes and diagnosing injuries. She also worked at the clinic with chiropractors and other athletic trainers. The clinic is open to all of the athletes and was an opportunity for Shahboz to work with a multitude of competitors.

“Everyone was so appreciative of our help,” she said. “You hear so many horror stories about working with elite athletes. They were nothing like that and were very open to our suggestions.”

The experience reminded Shahboz of things she had once learned about and also gave her the opportunity to work on injuries that she had not worked on before. One new experience for Shahboz was working with paralympic athletes.

“They have the same joints as you and me, but they aren’t formed correctly,” she said. “It made me think outside the box on how to properly go about treatment.”

Shahboz hopes to work with the training center again and plans to keep in contact with people at the facility. Because of her extensive background in swimming, she would welcome the opportunity to work with the U.S. swim team.

“I have a lot of experience working with swimmers, but there are so many other sports that I would love to work with,” she said. “They are all really cool, and I will take any opportunity that they give me to work at the training center again.”

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