With the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place in London, millions around the world will have their eyes glued to their favorite athletes representing their country. Gold medals and praise aren’t the only things these athletes take home with them, though. Some bring home a handful of injuries from training and performing the sport they love. The phrase “no pain, no gain” may come to mind, but another thought that may arise is how do some of these athletes recover and get back on track. Let us take a look now and see how some Olympians have overcome and bounced back into the arena.
Kerri Strug: Gold Medalist at Atlanta in 1996
With taking home the bronze in Barcelona in 1992 and the gold in Atlanta in 1996, without a doubt Kerri Strug stands as one of the most admired gymnasts in American history. The world cringed though when Kerri took to the vault and fell, resulting in a sprained ankle and ligament damage. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect bones to each other, and when torn or damaged, can result in serious pain and weakness. This, however, did not stop her from bouncing back on the vault for a second time to make a perfect landing, giving her team Olympic gold. Kerri received immediate treatment on her ankle injury, which led her to a fast recovery. Many whom experience ankle injuries ignore the problem at first, which could be the worst decision because if not treated immediately, it may cause permanent dysfunction later down the road. Today Kerri runs marathons, supports charities, and supports athletes at the Olympic Games.
Usain Bolt: Gold Medalist at Beijing 2008
Representing the island nation of Jamaica comes one of the fastest runners who walked, or shall we say “ran,” the earth, Usain Bolt. Not only did Usain race his way to three gold medals in Beijing in 2008, he has also holds many world records that will be hard to beat. While gearing up for the London games, Usain suffered lower back pain and tightness in the hamstring area. Even though he has qualified to run in the Olympic Games, this caused him to place second in the qualifying races against his running partner, Yohan Blake. Not only did Usain seek immediate treatment from back pain doctors and a specialist in Germany named Doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, who treats sports injuries, he will also undertake cryotherapy treatment. This process involves stepping into an ice chamber that uses liquid nitrogen to chill his body. Through this treatment, he will experience rapid muscle recovery, and the treatment also releases endorphins, helping ease the pain. His agent, Ricky Simms, informed the public that he is “good to go,” and will be going to London to defend his world records.
Dwight Howard: London 2012
Even though Dwight has not received an Olympic medal, he was on the road to the London Games until he learned that he must undergo back surgery. After experiencing back pain since last March, Dwight’s back doctors stated that he suffers from a herniated disc. He initially received an epidural to relieve the pain, but surgery is necessary to correct the problem. In addition to undergoing surgery, he will attend rehab and can get back into the game within a couple of months.
As you can see, treating an Olympian’s injury is not much different from others who seek medical help with their injuries and discomfort with their body. On top of their strength and motivation, they share something else in common – receiving treatment for their pain and discomfort as soon as they noticed it. So, while watching the game in London this year, remember when faced with an injury or discomfort, you should seek help and treatment as soon as it arises in order to have the best recovery possible.