DAVENPORT, Iowa — When the athletes and staff from Team USA head to Rio de Janeiro next month, a Davenport doctor will be taking over an Olympic training center here in the states.
Dr. Jason Rannfeldt is heading to Lake Placid, where he'll serve as medical director of the U.S. Olympic Training Facility. It's a two-week appointment while the center's full-time staff is in Brazil for the Summer Games.
"I'll actually be in charge of that center when I'm out there. There's bobsled, skeleton, and luge camp, and USA hockey and Canadian women's hockey are going to be there that week doing some scrimmages and camp, as well," said Rannfeldt.
For Rannfeldt, it's a rare opportunity to work with some of the best athletes in the world. He's one of just three doctors chosen to head one of the U.S. training facilities.
Over his career, Rannfeldt has worked with athletes ranging from the River Bandits to Major League players, but he says Olympic competitors are some of the most inspiring.
"They are, and they're really, really, really humble. Probably the most humble athletes I've ever worked with out of any of them are the Paralympians," said Rannfeldt.
Rannfeldt also believes his chiropractic background is something more and more athletes are looking for.
"With the Olympics, obviously, drugs are a huge issue, so therapeutic exemptions and drug testing is a big deal. So athletes, one, don't want to be on drugs. And two, they've got to find conservative care that gives them an edge and takes care of their body," said Rannfeldt.
Rannfeldt leaves for Lake Placid on July 31, 2016.
He said he's looking forward to visiting the site of the 1980 'Miracle on Ice,' and watching some of the Summer Olympics on TV with other athletes at the training center.