The faculty and staff at Palmer College of Chiropractic are especially proud to point out that the Managing Director of Sports Medicine for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia
is a Palmer graduate. William Moreau, D.C., DACBSP, has cared for athletes for most of his career.
It is not only an honor to serve the Olympics in this way as a sports medicine specialist but it is also in a sense his vocation. Dr. Moreau, a 1981 graduate of Palmer’s Davenport, Iowa campus, directs the multiple disciplinary clinics that service about 20,000 athlete visits annually. He oversees the medical care and medical team selections at the Games, and develops a nationwide network of health care providers to support Team USA athletes. Of the 28 physicians on the medical team, six of them are doctors of chiropractic. He had this to say about his work there in Sochi.
“The athletes who comprise Team USA
are the hardest-working, hardest-training and most amazing people I’ve ever treated,” Moreau noted. “The athletes we see are akin to BMW racing machines; their joints and muscles are so finely tuned that small differences make notable changes.”
Palmer College has even more to be proud about as communications rep Lori Leipold, stated, "Stephen Press, D.C., CCSP, graduated from Palmer’s Davenport, Iowa campus in 1978." He took his passion for chiropractic and sports to a global level. In 1992, he served as the chief physician for the entire Soviet Olympic team during the Winter Games in Albertville, France.
In 1987, Press founded the Federation Internationale du Chiropractic Sportive (FICS). One year later, the FICS and Press traveled to Moscow, where he began a relationship with Russian athletes that would last for decades. “Thirty years ago, it was the dream of a chiropractor to go to the Olympics,” said Dr. Press. This was at a time when chiropractors were not as accepted into the medical establishment. “Today we have more openings for Olympic chiropractors than there are qualified chiropractors to fill them.”
Dr. Press treated figure skater and Olympic gold Medalist Ekaterina Gordeeva for sciatica. He helped raise a quarter of a million dollars to set up a chiropractic clinic in Moscow, and was presented a gold medal of his own – 'the Coach of Champions award.' "The rest is history," said Leipold.
For those who want to be sports chiropractors, Dr. Press has this to say, “get your CCSP certification." "Sports chiropractic is a specialty, and you need to be on top of it." Dr. Press also advocates spending time in the local community where a chiropractor has the most impact. "Volunteer at your local Little League and work your way up from the trenches.”
For many chiropractors getting involved in sports medicine was second nature. Often is the case with a chiropractor, he or she is inspired to be a chiropractor after experiencing an injury as an athlete.
This was the situation for a Palmer alum, Dr. David Ressler, DC of Ressler Chiropractic
in South San Francisco, CA. "I got injured while playing football in high school," he said. The prognosis for him at that time was not favorable. A family friend recommended he see a chiropractor. "From that first visit, the chiropractor changed my life. I was depressed with the prognosis I was given. Yet from the chiropractor's perspective (promoting healing naturally without drugs or surgery) I made a gradual but steady recovery." "From that moment on I was a believer in what chiropractic can do and then decided to make it my life's career and vocation," Ressler said.
Christopher DeMartini would agree. When he got injured from participating in competitive sports in high school, he too turned to chiropractic for help. While not an alum of Palmer, he recognizes the importance of the connection chiropractic makes with sports medicine. As a non-surgical approach, chiropractic honors the ages-old ethic, "body-heal thyself." In our current age when use of drugs and surgery is promoted so readily, chiropractors stand their ground on emphasizing the body's own natural power to heal itself. Demartini like Ressler and others who come to the profession faced many physical and emotional challenges after a sports injury. Chiropractic was a "light at the end of a very dim passage" so to speak in Demartini's life. And, now he works at California Neurohealth,
in Palo Alto, CA specializing in neurological chiropractic care.
“My introduction to sports chiropractic was as an athlete,” said Dr. Dave Juehring, D.C. “I had a back injury while competing in track and field in college, and, having grown up in Davenport, (the headquarters and main campus of Palmer College), I thought I’d try chiropractic. I went to the Palmer Clinic, and within a month my back was fine and I was back to competing.”
While Dr. Juehring went on to compete on the U.S. Bobsled Team, he didn’t make an Olympic team. The experience of chiropractic care changed his focus. A Palmer graduate in 1994, Juehring began treating Olympic bobsled athletes and went on to be a USA Olympic Bobsled coach and eventually a team leader in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games.
Juehring is also a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and serves on the American Chiropractic Rehabilitation Board.
Palmer College attracts students from all over the nation and the world. While each have their own unique calling some of the specifics are much the same, especially sports and Olympic dreams.
Lindsay Alcock, D.C., of Calgary, Canada, represented her country in two Winter Olympic Games (2002 and 2006) during a stellar six-year World Cup career in the sport of skeleton, which included winning the silver medal at the 2004 World Championships.
A 2013 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic’s San Jose, CA, campus, Dr. Alcock practices in Calgary, where she also does motivational speaking.
She credits Palmer alumnus Greg Uchacz, D.C. (San Jose campus, 1992), chiropractor for the Canadian teams of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Uchacz provided the Canadian Olympians with high-quality care, and as a result inspired her to enroll at Palmer and follow a similar career path.
Melissa Hoar, a student at Palmer's San Jose,CA, campus, recently was featured in a Foundation for Chiropractic Progress “Future Champions of Chiropractic” ad.
A native of Australia, Melissa Hoar competed in the sport of skeleton in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and qualified for the World Championships every year since she started "sliding" in 2005. She achieved performance-strengthening results through care provided during the Vancouver, B.C., Olympiad by Palmer Davenport alumnus Jason Ross, D.C., Team USA chiropractor.
"I always knew I wanted to do something within the health field, and chiropractic seemed like it was the best fit for me, especially as I personally benefited, and learned that chiropractic was more than just adjusting the spine," said Hoar. Also a two-time Surf Life Saving world-champion, she'll soon graduate from Palmer College at the San Jose, CA campus.
Richard Robinson, D.C., a 1996 graduate of Palmer’s San Jose, CA campus is one of two chiropractors providing care for members of Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Games
in Sochi. He also provided chiropractic care for members of the Canadian teams at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
“I’ve worked with speed skaters for 10 years, and I’ll be responsible for all the athletes taking part in speed skating, hockey, figure skating and curling,” said Dr. Robinson.
With this appointment, Dr. Robinson will have participated in four Olympiads (including the summer 2012 Games in China). Dr. Robinson will be a featured speaker at the Palmer San Jose Homecoming event on May 2 of this year.
With this six illustrious alumni and no doubt more to come, it is no wonder that Palmer College of Chiropractic is ecstatic about the Winter Olympics; and perhaps like no other person or group cheering their teams to victory. To learn more about chiropractic in sports medicine and about Palmer College of Chiropractic, visit the college's web site.