Contact: Mardi Ford
GRH Physical Therapist Elizabeth Zastrow, PT, DPT, OCS, just had the experience of a lifetime. Zastrow was offered a volunteer position at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, from March 27th to April 8th. For two weeks she stayed on campus with athletes and other Olympic Training Center staff members, and received a real insider’s perspective on Olympic athlete culture while providing physical therapy in the official Olympic clinic and overseeing trainings and practices.
Colorado Springs’ Olympic Training Center hosts Greco and freestyle wrestling, weightlifting, men’s gymnastics, boxing, shooting, Paralympic swimming and cycling, swimming, and the modern pentathlon, among others. In her spare time Zastrow was able to exercise in the training center’s official gym facilities, hike the surrounding trails, and watch potential Olympic athletes and teams train. When asked about her favorite part of the experience, she said, “The best part was meeting the athletes and hearing their stories. They’re great people – and every one of them has a unique story. Many of them have plans after their Olympic journey is over – some are working on getting their degree, others applying for Physical Therapy school.”
It was an enlightening experience, for sure, but would she ever pursue it as a career? According to Zastrow, “I had an incredible experience providing physical therapy treatments to such high-level athletes, however, it’s shed some light on how much I value and appreciate my patients here at the hospital. Being able to educate and provide real-world progression is what makes me happy.”
Did she provide treatments to any athletes we’d know? When asked, she gave a little smile. “You’d definitely know them, but I can’t tell you who they are”.
PHOTO CAPTION: Elizabeth Zastrow, PT, DPT, OCS, hiking a trail near the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.