So how did I end up at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China? I ask myself the same question all the time. I started helping with US Figure Skating a few years ago assisting with camp and covering competitions. During this time, I worked together with the US Figure Skating medical staff helping wherever I could. In this same time frame, I worked with 2022 USA Figure Skating Olympians Kaitlin Hawayek and 2022 US National Champion Mariah Bell. This all led to figure skaters coming into Compete Performance & Rehab.
Over the last several years, we have been able to increase the number of skaters we work with. One of the skaters was Michal Brezina, a three-time Olympian for the Czech Republic. Michal came in for training, rehab, and recovery. We were able to develop a great relationship where we could learn from each other. His program had to be different. He was 31 years old and had been skating for a long time. We had a plan but had to modify that plan frequently. Some days were harder than planned and some training days turned into recovery days because training on the ice was intense. A few months ago, Michal asked if I was interested in going to the Olympics with him since Czech does not bring an Athletic Trainer or over here a Physio with them. I said, “Let me think about it…..yeah, I’m in!”
After going through the process, I was approved and accredited ten days before we left. The next thing you know, I’m in the Czech Republic for a few days for Covid testing and training before we flew to Beijing. Another Covid test when we arrived in Beijing and then cleared to leave the room and start practices the next day.
The first day we were in the practice rink, but the second day we were in the Main Competition Rink. I had officially arrived at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games!
Chris Phillips is an Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Chris is the owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County, CA and is currently in Beijing for the Olympics. He can be reached through Compete’s website at www.competeperformance.com