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SLU PT Faculty Member Assists at U.S. Olympic Training Center

Assistant physical therapy professor Jason Bennett, Ph.D., SCS, ATC, was invited by the United States Olympic Committee to provide medical care to athletes competing in the Dave Schultz Memorial International Wrestling Tournament in Colorado Springs, CO. 

The annual wrestling tournament is a U.S. Olympic qualifying event. The top American wrestlers at each weight class automatically qualify for the U.S Olympic Trials, where they will compete to make the U.S. Olympic Greco Roman or Freestyle wrestling team this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It was an opportunity to work with some of the top medical professionals across multiple disciplines from all over the United States at an elite sports medicine."

Jason Bennett, Ph.D., 

As a member of the sports medicine staff for the tournament, Bennett provided acute medical care to wrestlers who were injured during the competition, performed pre-participation skin checks, and provided post-competition injury evaluations and treatment.  Bennett also provided medical care to athletes from other sports, including gymnastics, weightlifting and modern pentathlon, who were training at the Olympic Training Center.

Bennett said he was thrilled to have a role in the wrestling tournament.

"It was an opportunity to work with some of the top medical professionals across multiple disciplines from all over the United States at an elite sports medicine facility," Bennett said. "It was also an opportunity to see some of the best athletes in the world train and compete."

This was not Bennett's first experience as a sports medicine volunteer with the U.S.O.C.  He has previously worked events at its facility in Chula Vista, CA and an earlier event at the same Colorado Springs, CO location. Despite his preparedness, there was a new wrinkle for Bennett at this year's event: a language barrier.

"This was my first international event, which created challenges with communication," Bennett said. "You learn pretty quickly how valuable Google Translate can be when faced with an injured, non-English speaking athlete."

The Dave Schultz Memorial International Wrestling Tournament is named after American wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Dave Schultz who was tragically killed in 1996 at the age of 36. In 1997, Schultz was posthumously inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.