For Immediate Release: June 27, 2012
Contact: Chad Smidt, OCR, 970-227-0763 (cell)
Athletic Trainer's Selection for Summer Olympics
Latest for OCR's Staff for International Sports Events
FORT COLLINS, CO – Athletic trainer Erika Rice of the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies will practice her skills in a new venue when she travels to England to work with American athletes at the Summer Olympics.
Rice’s selection by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) marks her first trip to the Games. “I’m just so excited and humbled to be involved,” she said.
Rice will work with U.S. athletes at the USOC medical clinic in the Olympic Village in London. “I’ll evaluate new injuries and provide different treatments and taping” as part of the clinic staff, she said. The Summer Games start July 27; Rice will leave July 15 and return to Fort Collins on Aug. 15.
“I’ve never been to England,” she remarked. “I’m so excited to work with the athletes. I never thought the Olympics would be a possibility. Now to be chosen to work there is unbelievable.”
Her opportunity to work in London is a result of her successful completion of a two-week internship at the USOC training facilities in Colorado Springs. Rice was notified of her selection in late March.
Though it will be her first experience at the Olympics and in England, the trip isn’t Rice’s first time abroad as an athletic trainer. She worked tournaments with the U.S. women’s wrestling team in China and Mongolia in 2011 and 2012.
She also has traveled the region for her job with OCR, working at a number of high school, college, and pro rodeo events, including the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, WY, and assisting at Cheyenne Frontier Days and the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
Her international experience continues a tradition for OCR’s sports medicine staff. Athletic trainer Kat Koehler and sports medicine outreach director Chad Smidt worked at the Summer Games in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, respectively.
Smidt has also traveled overseas to work at a number of World and Junior World Wrestling Championships for the American team since 1993.
OCR athletic trainers Ryan Ostopovich and Chris Porowski have had assignments abroad with USA Wrestling to work at tournaments in Russia, Poland, and Azerbaijan, for instance. Ostopovich served at the Pan American Games in Mexico in 2011.
Smidt, Koehler, Rice, Ostopovich, and Porowski also serve as members of the medical pool for USA Wrestling, a tradition at OCR that dates back to Dr. Jack Harvey. Dr. Harvey is retired but during his active practice he served as the chief medical officer for USA Wrestling.
Smidt, Rice, Ostopovich, and Porowski work in OCR’s therapy department. Rice also works with athletes at the high school training rooms in Fort Collins and Loveland, Ostopovich works in the training room at Fossil Ridge High School, and Porowski is the athletic trainer for the Colorado Eagles hockey team. Koehler serves as the athletic trainer for Windsor High School.
Despite her previous international tournament assignments, the Olympics will represent a unique experience for Rice. “I don’t think I’ll understand how big it was until I get back,” she said.
The Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies has 24 physicians who provide patients with specialized orthopaedic, spine, sports medicine, and podiatry care. The practice, founded in 1969, has offices in Fort Collins and Loveland, CO. OCR’s services also include surgery centers, radiology, therapy, and orthopaedic worker’s comp care. For more information: www.orthohealth.com.
Back to Announcements Archive