MSU Sports Medicine Doctor to Volunteer in Sochi

By: WILX NEWS 10
By: WILX NEWS 10

To get ready for the Paralympics, Kovan traveled to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs last fall.  "The second of the two weeks that I was there, a number of the alpine skiing, snowboarding paralympians were in doing their conditioning and training at the center.  I had a chance to interact with them, work with them a lot, really just find it fascinating, not just as athletes but just their stories and their human interest stories."

Whether they're playing hockey on a sled, or skiing down a slope on one leg, Olympians with disabilities will compete during the Paralympics in Sochi with the same goal, to win a medal.

Dr. Jeff Kovan, who takes care of many of MSU's college athletes, including members of the Men's basketball team, will volunteer for the first time at the 2014 Paralympics. "I think what people appreciate and don't appreciate is that obviously maybe the speed or maybe some of the activities aren't to the same level as the able bodied athlete. But the disabled, or the paralympians essentially, they go through the same competitions, same intensity, same training."

The Paralympics are the 2nd largest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics. The games began 74 years ago, with the first opening ceremonies in Rome, Italy. Kovan says it will be a new challenge to care for athletes with physical disabilities. "It's a different kind of athlete, different kind of mentality, and you really have to use their knowledge base, because they know their bodies so well. and what can we do to help augment or make it better for them based on what they tell us."

To get ready for the Paralympics, Kovan traveled to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs last fall. "The second of the two weeks that I was there, a number of the alpine skiing, snowboarding paralympians were in doing their conditioning and training at the center. I had a chance to interact with them, work with them a lot, really just find it fascinating, not just as athletes but just their stories and their human interest stories."

The Paralympics take place March 7-16th.


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