Treating the Elite: Logan Alum Prepares Athletes for Olympic Games

September 5, 2019 -- For Jonathan Wilhelm, DC ’04, MS ‘12, CCSP, CSCS, CCEP, ICSC, working with athletes is the perfect expression of being a sports chiropractor – he gets to apply his work to the “finest human machines” and receive immediate feedback from the most finely tuned and specialized athletic individuals on the planet. Furthermore, sports chiropractic has given him experiences he will never forget and friendships that will last a lifetime.

This summer, Dr. Wilhelm’s profession took him around the world where he, along with a team of healthcare professionals, served the most elite athletes.

In Tortosa, Spain, Dr. Wilhelm was one of 22 chiropractors from around the world who were chosen by the International Federation of Sports Chiropractors (FICS) to work at the CSIT World Sports Games – an international sporting event that occurs every two years and includes up to 8,000 participants across various competitive sports.

Similarly, he was one of three sports chiropractors who received a special invite to travel to the USA Track and Field National Championships held in July in Des Moines, Iowa. He, along with other local sports chiropractors and massage therapists, provided recovery and performance care to approximately 500 competing athletes.  These were the top professional, collegiate and amateur track and field athletes in the United States, competing for their spot on the US National Team.

At the USA Gymnastics National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Wilhelm led the Athlete Recovery Center, where physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, medical doctors and himself provided recovery and performance therapy to all of the athletes. “While I was the only sports chiropractor to work this event, that’s something I hope to change in the future by providing skilled, professional work and in turn educating the other members of the medical team on the qualifications and quality of service provided by sports chiropractors,” he said.

With the Summer Olympic Games coming up in Tokyo in 2020, Dr. Wilhelm said national championships prior to an Olympic year are quite important, as the top athletes in America gather to compete for spots on the national team, which can have big implications on who is chosen for the Olympic team. This, he said, makes his role in providing care even more critical. 

“It is both a great honor, and so much fun,” Dr. Wilhelm said of his experience working with elite athletes in these settings. “The honor comes in helping athletes who have dedicated their lives to competing for our country under the stars and stripes. In a small way, this is how I get to represent my country, behind the scenes, helping these athletes achieve.

“The fun comes in two ways: Working together with, and learning from, the other members of the medical team, and in building rapport and trust with athletes throughout the competition as they return for treatment and advice, eventually seeing the results of your combined work in their competitive results.”

Dr. Wilhelm is the owner of Pro Chiropractic, which has locations in Bozeman and Belgrade, Montana. Pro Chiropractic specializes in sports medicine, spinal injury and family care. He was also named the 2018 Sports Chiropractor of the Year by the American Chiropractic Association Sports Council. 

Logan Faculty and Alumni Participate in 2016 Olympics in Rio

All eyes were on Rio de Janeiro as the best athletes in the world assembled for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Several Logan alumni and one faculty member served as coaches while one alumna competed. 

Melissa Tancredi, DC, MS (Class of 2014) 
Pictured above on the far left.

After competing in the 2012 Olympic Games in London as a member of the Canadian soccer team, Dr. Tancredi completed her next new challenge: earning her Doctor of Chiropractic and Master’s in Sports Science and Rehabilitation degrees from Logan. This past year, Dr. Tancredi helped her team win bronze at the Olympic Games not only by scoring goals, but by using her skills to provide care for teammates. Currently, Dr. Tancredi is playing in Sweden for Orebro FC and has qualified for the Union of European Football Associations Champions League. In the future, she plans to practice chiropractic full time. “I see myself staying close to sports and finding a new journey and new challenges to take on,” said Dr. Tancredi. “I love my profession and I’m very excited to start fresh and create a new identity within chiropractic.”
Richard Olree, DC (Class of 1981)

For two years Dr. Olree has provided chiropractic care for three-time cancer survivor and blind athlete Ivonne Mosquera- Schmidt. Instead of looking at blindness as a setback, Ivonne saw it as an opportunity to bridge the gap between disabled and ablebodied athletes. Through years of training and chiropractic care, Ivonne regained strength and endurance, and this past July qualified for the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field team. Dr. Olree joined Ivonne in Rio de Janiero for the 2016 Paralympic Games.

“She was in the finals for the T11 women in the 1500-meter at these Olympics,” said Dr. Olree. “Though she was not on the podium, she is a true chiropractic hero for all the work and hardship she has endured.” Today, Ivonne is the World Champion in Paratriathlon in the sprint and Olympic distances and has set four American records for T11 women. 

David Parish, DC, MS, CSCS, DACBSP, ICCSP and Joel Dekanich, DC, RN, MS, DACBSP, CSCS (MSR Class of 2013)
Pictured above with Dr. Parish on the left and Dr. Dekanich on the right.

Representing the U.S. Para Powerlifting Team, Dr. Parish, associate dean of clinical care and director of sports science and rehabilitation, returned from the 2016 Paralympic Games as a proud coach of powerlifter Ahmed Shafik. Dr. Parish was joined by Dr. Dekanich, founder and director of Vail Integrated Medicine Group. Ahmed finished his second and final Paralympic games, taking seventh place. “When I first volunteered as a United States Olympic Committee sports medicine provider, I had no idea where it would lead. I certainly never dreamed I would be a part of two Paralympic teams for the USA,” said Dr. Parish. “Having now been to the ‘big stage’ as both a doctor and a coach, I can truly say that Logan University has enabled me to reach for what I dreamed of.”

Kyle Peacock, DC (Class of 2012), Matt Uchtman, DC (Class of 2007) and Nick Barnes, DC (Class of 2008) also attended the Olympic Games in Rio to treat members of the U.S. Wrestling Team.

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