STATS: Appointed by the U.S. Olympic Committee to
provide chiropractic care to the U.S. Olympic Team at
the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2006 Winter Olympics
How long have you been a sports chiropractor? I’ve practiced
sports chiropractic since 1983.
What does it take to be selected to the medical staff of the
U.S. Olympic Committee? The Olympic selection process is
long and rigorous. For me, it began in 1996 after completing
the prerequisites. I was chosen by a committee of peers to
attend a two-week internship at the U.S. Olympic training
center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Based on my sports clinical
expertise and the ability to operate smoothly with Olympic
athletes, administrators and other physicians, I was then selected
to support our country’s athletic efforts at several international
events leading up to the 2004 Olympics.
Why is it important for chiropractors to be on hand at the
Olympics? The Olympics provide the perfect arena to demonstrate
the value of chiropractic care. Since the intake of medications
is highly regulated throughout the competition, physicians
are generally limited to the type of treatment they can provide
and let the athlete compete. As a result, the Olympic chiropractor
can be the busiest person in the clinic.
Is there an especially memorable experience to share after two
Olympic Games? There is nothing more rewarding and aweinspiring
than watching an Olympic athlete win a gold medal in
their event and then walk up to you to say, “Thank you. I could
not have done this without your help.” These are the absolutely
unforgettable moments that make the sacrifice, time and trip
worthwhile. These moments also form the bonds that will last
What knowledge have you gained from being a sports
chiropractor? Throughout the events, there is literally no separation
between you, the athletes and the coaches. However, after
several days jammed in the same quarters, it becomes apparent
that they are just ordinary people who can do extraordinary things.
In addition, many of these people are the most gracious, giving
people you will ever meet.
How did your time at Palmer prepare you for where you
are now? My Palmer education provided the foundation for my
career. It not only gave me the necessities to succeed as a sports
chiropractor, but also taught me the importance of meeting patients’
needs with compassion, understanding and patience.
Providing care in a variety of arenas:
Dr. Shapiro has earned the Diplomate of the American Board
of Sports Physicians and over the last 20 years served as attending
physician at regional, national and international sporting
events such as the World Championship of Free-Style Wrestling,
the Gatorade Ironman Triathlon
World Championship and the
National Collegiate Tae Kwan