USA Swimming's organizers/staff are top notch. I have never seen a more finely tuned machine of organizational skills. Every minute of the day, for the most part, was accounted for and my job there was several fold; 1) to work on athletes performing soft tissue manipulation (massage, Graston Technique, active release-esque work), 2) adjust athletes if needed/warranted, 3) Assess new and old injuries, 4) work with massage therapist (Beth Morford from Kansas) Athletic Trainer (Ashley Stern from U. of FL) and Chiropractor (Andy Schmutz of Youngstown Ohio) and Medical Doctor (Scott Rodeo of NY, NY) in a multidisciplinary approach to athlete care, 5) perform any duty that needed to be done including filling Gatorade coolers, accompanying athletes to doping control and even getting lost in the Atlanta suburbs... a long story!
We worked together on the athletes after breakfast, sometimes before, before, during and after practices held on non-competition days as well as after dinner in the late evening each night. In all honesty, it did not feel like work. It was an awesome experience to be honest! The athletes do not act any different than anyone else... they are "normal" people but just happen to have an insane work ethic and talent that allows them to be the best swimmers in the world. They all are down to earth and easy to get to know and talk with and generally are great people. I say this because the first question I get from anyone is, "what were they like?" People who are great at what they do!
The US Team defeated the European team handily and doubled the score of their competitors. A few short-course (25meter pool) World Records were broken and a few American Records were also achieved. To be a part of that was... well... pretty cool! I hope to be able to be a part of that experience once again in the months and years to come.
Erik DeRoche MS, DC, CSCS