Local Chiropractor Makes Tough Decision On Sochi Winter Olympics - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Chiropractor Makes Tough Decision On Sochi Winter Olympics

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     Just one week until the start of the highly anticipated 2014 Olympic Winter Games. On Thursday, the first members of team USA arrived in Sochi. The U.S. remains on high alert saying there is a threat and it is real enough to give some athletes and other visitors pause. 

     For one QCA man logistical roadblocks are to blame for putting his Olympic dreams on hold. We first met Dr. Jason Rannfeldt, a local chiropractor, last Spring before he headed to Olympic training centers in California and Colorado. He was officially chosen as one of the doctors for team USA and set to go to Sochi to support our athletes. But some issues while coordinating with Russia forced him to make a very difficult decision and others are in the same position. While Rannfeldt will forgo this trip he's still a part of the team, and no doubt will be cheering them on come next week.

     "It's an absolutely huge honor, probably the biggest honor I've had in my career," said Dr. Rannfeldt.

     It's a golden opportunity to be part of the U.S. Olympic team and travel to Sochi to work with athletes in competitions like the luge, bobsled, and skeleton. But several weeks ago Dr. Rannfeldt had to make the decision to stay behind.

     "What it came down to was more of a visa issue, Russia being understaffed, and us having a possibility of being stuck there for a lot of time. Four to six weeks," he said. As opposed to a two week rotation, and with two six-year olds at home and a practice it's something he couldn't chance.

     Add on top of that security issues and threats to safety Rannfeldt says now other, full-time training staff aren't going and most of the athletes families will stay behind too.

     "It's a situation where nobody knows from day-to-day, in fact I've been told from above there's an hour-by-hour change."

      Rannfeldt hopes it doesn't stifle the experience for the athletes since many have worked for years to get this chance. "Whether they win a medal or not you hope they come away with it remembering that was one of the most memorable times of their lives."

     Getting to work with them has been an amazing opportunity already and one he hopes is far from over. There is still a lot of excitement for the Winter Olympic Games. He'll either be watching at home or from one of the Olympic training centers to cover for other team doctors.

     "I'm still working with the team. I've got a few athletes that are picked to win some gold over there in two races. That's really cool to see. I wish I could be there for that."

     Rannfeldt is already looking ahead and hoping for a shot at Rio in 2016.


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