Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

July 19, 2004

U of G members heading to Athens to work at Olympic Games

Three members of the University of Guelph’s Health and Performance Centre will be working with athletes at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Aug. 13 to 29.

Pedorthist Bryan Billings, sports medicine physician Margo Mountjoy and physiotherapist Teresa Piotrowski will treat and test international athletes throughout the Summer Olympics.

“We are very proud of our Health and Performance Centre family,” said Cyndy McLean, director of the centre. “Having three of our team members selected to work at the Olympic Games shows the calibre and the scope of the people we have here at the university.”

Billings, who makes custom support systems to realign foot and ankle injuries at the Health and Performance Centre, will be working in the Olympic polyclinic as part of the foot and ankle team. This is the first time pedorthists have been included as part of the medical team for the Olympic Games. Billings is one of 10 pedorthists who will be working over the course of the Games. He’ll be treating foot and ankle injuries that commonly occur in sports such as soccer, field hockey, wrestling, running and tennis.

“I’m pretty darn excited,” he said. “I’ve never been to the Olympics, and it’ll be my first time to Greece. The polyclinic is for international athletes, so I will be treating athletes from all over the world.”

Mountjoy is the chair of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international federation that governs all aquatic sports. In Athens, she will be conducting doping testing for FINA and will serve as the physician for the Canadian synchronized swimming team. She also works for the International Olympic Committee addressing the special medical issues faced by elite child athletes. She was also the physician for Canada’s synchronized swim team physician at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

“I’m very excited, as this is the birthplace of the Olympics,” said Mountjoy. “Even though I’ll be working with athletes from around the world, I still see myself as an ambassador for Canada.”

Piotrowski, a physiotherapist and competitive wrestler, will be the physiotherapist for the Canadian men’s and women’s wrestling teams. This will be the first time women’s wrestling is a part of the Olympics. She competed at the Olympic qualifying event, but her weight class isn’t one of the four (of seven) weight divisions competing in the Athens Olympics.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to go to the Olympics,” said Piotrowski. “This is one giant stepping stone to get me more and more involved with wrestling once I leave as an athlete.” The most common injuries for wrestlers are to their necks, knees, fingers, ankles and backs, she said.

Billings, Mountjoy and Piotrowski plan to attend some Olympic events together in their down time. Billings and Piotrowski, who have never been to Greece, also hope to do a bit of travelling before and after the Games.

Bryan Billings

Health and Performance Centre
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 53281

Margo Mountjoy
Health and Performance Centre
(519) 763-9586 or (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53039

Teresa Piotrowski
Health and Performance Centre
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 53174

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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