While most of us watch the Olympic games from our living rooms, Mount Pleasant chiropractor Brian Class will be on the scene in London as part of the medical team for wrestling, weightlifting and judo.
Class, 30, is flying to London on Friday, where he will work with U.S. athletes on “proactive measures,” such as proper nutrition, to give them a competitive edge. He also will help them deal with strains and sprains.
And Clemson University sophomore Stacie Louis-Jacques, who is from Goose Creek, will board a plane for London on Saturday. She’s one of 59 students in Clemson’s symphonic band and jazz ensemble who will play at four Olympic venues.
Class, who works at Life Essentials Health Center, said the volunteer opportunity came to him through the group Maximize Living. That group, which focuses on holistic health, has connections with the governing bodies of the wrestling, weightlifting and judo teams.
Class said the preventative and proactive measures are extremely important to an athlete’s success. For instance, he said, in previous years, an athlete might have grabbed a Gatorade and a bag of Skittles between events. But that kind of nutrition has a tendency to backfire.
Athletes perform better if they drink water or coconut water, and eat lean protein, he said. “Your body can’t function at high capacity with sugar in it.”
And the athletes he’s working with are likely to suffer strains and sprains from the high-impact sports in which they are involved. For instance, he said, in wrestling and judo, “the goal is to torque that person’s body.”
He’s been working with athletes as they prepared for the Summer Olympics, he said, and he’s impressed with their dedication to their sports and their country. “I’m happy to have a little part in that,” he said.
But Class said his approach works for non-athletes as well.
Bonnie and Alan Murphy, from Edisto Island, aren’t surprised Class is off to London. The couple, who both are in their early 60s, said he’s turned their health around in the past three months.
Alan Murphy was taking seven cholesterol and heart-related medications a day last April. Now, he’s not taking any. And he said he owes that to Class.
And both Murphys said they feel better, have lost weight and started exercising.
They think Class’ dedication is a boon for the athletes.
But the Olympics games are about more than sports. They are about music and entertainment as well.
Mark Spede, Clemson’s director of bands, said he applied for the opportunity to play at the Olympics, and was accepted 14 months ago. His students arrived on campus Wednesday for a few days of practice before they leave Saturday. “They’re amping up the excitement,” he said.
His students not only will play at four different venues but also will attend the Olympic beach volleyball event as well, he said. And they will have time to travel in England. “This is once-in-a-lifetime-type stuff.”
Louis-Jacques, 19, recognizes that. She’s worked hard mastering the alto saxophone. And it’s paying off. “At my age, this is the biggest opportunity of my life,” she said. “This is the world coming together, peacefully.”
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.