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Monday, July 2, 2012

Did you see that?!
Rewind that!"

 Those words fittingly describe the Olympic trials that took place this weekend. The Olympics, if you just crawling from under that rock, are slated to begin July 27, 2012 in London, England. You gotta love the intensity of the performances and the unbridled passion only found at the Olympics. 
The training is arduous and long.  Injuries can occur that can shatter a dream in a matter of seconds . Hours of training gone down the drain. The real 'agony of defeat'. Some of you know injuries, are a specialty of mind, sport orthopedic injuries to be exact. You may find what I am about to say morbid, but I am fascinated by the injuries and how I would have prevented and how I would manage them.

Injuries at this level I refer to as disease of excellence. I am often asked how can injuries occur at this level. The answer is simple: why wouldn't they occur at this level?  I often get the same question regarding professional athletes. Injuries have symptoms that lead up to the injury that puts an athlete out of play. Many athletes ignore the symptoms. You would be surprised  at some of the popular yet dated training methodology that can predispose an athlete to injury. I had an opportunity to work with Olympic athletes and you would be surprised at what they don't know regarding injury prevention and training to reduce the risk of injury.

Back in grad school I presented a paper discussing the tensile capacity of muscle, ligaments, bone and tendon. These structures molecular composition give them the characteristics to absorb and distribute energy commensurate with the amplitude(stress via weight training, running, landing, etc) applied at any given moment. Now, unfortunately these structures are NOT designed to tolerate such 'capacities' and high frequencies. High impact events like gymnastics are a good example of this(you will notice the taped ankles and knees). Nevertheless, they compete and push themselves to the brink for a chance to be on that podium.

Finally the Olympics is a moment to observe prodigious and extraordinary athletic feats. Many of these athletes have logged thousands of hours of demanding training regiments , mind numbing drills to perfect 'the' technique, and a limited social life all for this one glorious moment to see if they got what it takes to be an Olympiad. Injuries or not there will be moments that will inspire us to do better, push harder, run longer and never quit no matter what the odds are. USA! USA! USA! USA!.......


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