Northwestern is represented at Summer Olympic Games

Rob Karwath | July 27, 2016

The Director of Northwestern’s Human Performance Center is in Rio de Janeiro to work with Olympic athletes on performance enhancement and injury issues through sports chiropractic.

Tim Stark at Rio Olympics

Northwestern Health Sciences University is represented at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Timothy Stark, a sports chiropractor and Director of Northwestern’s Human Performance Center, is in the Olympics host city to work with athletes on performance enhancement, injury prevention and injury treatment.

Stark has a long history of working with international athletes on the world stage to help them achieve top performances and to stay injury-free. This is his fourth Olympic Games.

In Rio, he is one of the health professionals working at the Polyclinic in the Olympic Village, where he and the others provide volunteer health care services to Olympians from all countries. The Olympic Village was built to accommodate 20,000 athletes and support staffers.

“It’s basically a small city,” Stark said. “There are a number of services in the village, including dining, shopping, laundry, postal service, a fitness center and, of course, the Polyclinic.”

The Polyclinic is a large medical center that provides a wide array of high-level clinical services, from dental care to podiatry to X-ray, to pharmacy services and sports chiropractic treatment.

“Working with a diverse team like this is fantastic, and it’s an ideal clinical service to the high-performance athlete,” Stark said. “For example, yesterday we managed a wrestler, and approximately five providers were involved, including medical, radiology, osteopathy, physiotherapy and sports chiropractic.”

With the Olympic Games not scheduled to begin until Aug. 5, Stark said, “A small percentage of athletes are here, but more arrive every day. We are also still in set-up mode, meaning we are establishing our infrastructure within the Polyclinic. Some moments throughout the day we are building shelves and cleaning floors as well as providing clinical services. It’s all part of the process and important to teamwork.”

In addition to working at four Olympic Games, Stark has participated in about a dozen international multi-sport games.

“I certainly enjoy managing high-performance athletes, but I equally enjoy being able to share with other health-care disciplines the value of sports chiropractic,” he said. “And I enjoy learning from those in the other disciplines with whom I work.”

Northwestern students learn the value of working with other professionals for the benefit of their patients. Stark says the opportunities he has to do this in Rio will provide valuable lessons when he returns to campus.

“I always return home with more knowledge and a higher level of expertise,” he said. “Working full-time in a learning institution, I value this information and share it with my students.”

The Games open Aug. 5 and wrap up Aug. 21. Click back here for updates from Stark as he shares his Olympics experience.

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