There’s a gold medal hanging around the neck of Kayla Harrison in the photo, with a beaming Dr. Brad Gorski and his wife, Lauren, on either side of the Olympic heroine.
It’s not a stretch to say that the Gorskis, the husband-and-wife team behind Charleston’s Elite Family Chiropractic, played some small role in the success of Harrison, who won a gold medal in women’s judo in London, and of other Olympic medalists.
“It was amazing to be there for that,” said Brad Gorski, a member of the Maximized Living chiropractic team that worked with Team USA’s wrestling, judo and weight-lifting teams in London. “The hours those athletes put in to do what they have to do at that level is incredible, and to be hand-in-hand working with them was a great experience.”
Maximized Living, a Florida-based company, has worked with USA Wrestling and Judo since 2009, providing chiropractic care, nutritional advice and mental and physical fitness programs for athletes. Gorski was one of about 100 chiropractic doctors working with Olympic athletes in London.
At the London Games, Harrison and Marti Malloy (bronze) won medals for USA Judo. From USA Wrestling, Jake Varner and Jordan Burroughs took gold medals; Coleman Scott won a bronze; and Clarissa Chun took a bronze in women’s wrestling.
Harrison, whose comeback from abuse at the hands of a former coach made her one of the best stories of the Olympics, injured a knee during training before the Olympic Games, but still was able to win gold. She credited that, in part, to Maximized Living, which is one of her sponsors.
“Maximized Living has helped me prepare for London in so many ways. It has been, for me as an athlete, tremendous,” Harrison said in a press release. “I feel healthier overall as a person. My joints don’t ache quite as much as they used to. My stamina, my energy levels, my everything is up — and I attribute that highly to Maximized Living.”
Helping the athletes peak at the right time is key, Gorski said.
“What it really comes down to is keeping them injury free, keeping their mobility and energy up,” said Gorski, 29, a native of Michigan who established his practice in Charleston in 2009. “You are working with wrestlers trying to cut weight, and maybe their energy is down a little bit. So nutrition is a big part of it, and recovering the right way from any injuries or issues they are having.
“You want to help them maximize their performance and give them the best chance to do what they do.”
At the elite level, the smallest margins can make the difference between a gold medal and crushing disappointment.
“In seconds, someone can be competing for gold or silver and then finish fifth or sixth,” he said. “It’s insane to see how small the margin of error is.”
Gorski and his wife, who is the nutrition director at Elite Chiropractic, were able to take in some of the Olympics, watching American stars Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh win a match in beach volleyball.
“Just being in London was a great experience,” Gorski said. “It’s such a cool city, and everyone was so proud to have the Olympics there.”