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Beijing, MTs, Olympics, Paralympics, Report, Winter ⋆ MTs Report from the Winter Olympics & Paralympics in Beijing

Massage therapists from the U.S. have touched down in Beijing, China, for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The therapists are members of Team USA.

A group of four U.S. massage therapists is sending in reports from Beijing for MASSAGE Magazine, which will be added to this article as they come in.

January 26:

We are the massage therapists of the  United States Olympic Paralympic Committee Sports Medical Team. This team of therapists runs deep with valuable knowledge and skill with 63 combined years of experience.

Adora Race is from  Lake Placid, New York, and predominantly works with athletes from the U.S. National bobsled, skeleton and luge teams. This will be her first Olympic Games.  

Ronda ( Ronni) Little is from  Flower Mound, Texas, and works with athletes from the University of North Texas. This will be her second Olympic Games. 

Beijing, MTs, Olympics, Paralympics, Report, Winter ⋆ MTs Report from the Winter Olympics & Paralympics in Beijing
(L-R): Massage therapists Adora Race, Gretchen Lancing and Lori-Ann Gallat-Heilborn, members of the United States Olympic Paralympic Committee Sports Medical Team.

Gretchen Lansing is from Lake Placid, New York, where she owns and operates her own massage business along with working with athletes from bobsled, skeleton, luge and woman’s ice hockey. Gretchen has traveled with bobsled-skeleton internationally on World Cup and World Championship competitions. This will be Gretchen’s third Olympic Games. 

Lori-Ann Gallant-Heilborn resides in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She owns her own massage practice, provides continuing education on instrument-assisted soft-tissue manipulation, and has been affiliated with the US National bobsled-skeleton team for the past 15 years.  Lori-Ann has also traveled internationally with bobsled-skeleton athletes as well. 

This will be Lori-Ann’s fifth Olympic Games.

Beijing, MTs, Olympics, Paralympics, Report, Winter ⋆ MTs Report from the Winter Olympics & Paralympics in Beijing
Massage therapist Ronda Little, a member of the United States Olympic Paralympic Committee Sports Medical Team.

As we all prepared for these games, we were aware of the risks, challenges and requirements for being on this team. 

All of us were required to follow a very strict and rigid protocol of PCR testing, daily health check notifications and quarantine. We had to create a safe and Covid-free “bubble” for entry into China and participation at the Olympic Games—not to mention the mandatory face mask coverings.

We are keeping ourselves and the athletes we treat safe while creating a fun and exciting atmosphere leading into the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympic Games.

Once we arrive in Beijing we will go through another round of testing and quarantine.  After our testing at the Beijing airport, we will all depart and head to our village. There are three villages, and there will be a sports medicine team assigned to each one.  

January 30:

First official day on the job! 

This morning was a rough start—not going to lie! Jet lag has set in, and we are trying to get as much sleep in as we can but the challenges we face make it difficult. 

Once we arrived at the Beijing National Airport, we immediately went through four various customs declarations checkpoints along with an oral pharyngeal and nasal pharyngeal test swab—all the while being 6 feet socially distanced from each other. All Chinese nationals were in hazmat-type garments. It was a sci-fi atmosphere.

Even with all the strict restrictions and protocols (along with the constant technology issues), we are having a blast! For the next two days, the sports medicine team will operate from 8-10:30 p.m. Then we will have split shifts covering the Games from 7-11 p.m. every day 

After collecting our luggage and getting everything and everyone into the designated charter busses we were off. Once we arrived t our respective hotels and rooms we were instructed to quarantine there until our test results came back from the airport experience. (Seriously, it felt like they were performing brain surgery through the nose!)

After breakfast but before we departed for the Beijing Olympic Village—you guessed it— another oral pharyngeal test. We are required to test every day and have our temperatures taken at every venture we enter. Hand sanitizer is everywhere; it’s causing our hands to be so dry and cracked. We’re thinking about wearing medical-grade gloves when not in the clinic. 

We finally made it to the Olympic Village at about 2:40 pm and took a tour. Then we settled in and got the massage room all set up. It’s pretty bare-bones but it’s got a great view—and really, all we need is the table, our hands- knowledge and skill. We got this! 

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Beijing, MTs, Olympics, Paralympics, Report, Winter


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