April 25, 2013

Sara Lynn McCall, Graduate Assistant

Lori Howard Volunteers at United States Olympic Training Center

VALDOSTA – Lori Howard, Valdosta State University athletic training faculty member, completed her second volunteer assignment with the United States Olympic Training Center’s (USOTC) sports medicine team on March 18 - April 1 in Chula Vista, Calif. 

The Chula Vista OTC has sport venues and support facilities for the Olympic sports of archery, BMX, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and triathlon. Howard worked primarily with the women’s field hockey team, and she also assisted the OTC staff with BMX cycling practice coverage and clinic coverage.

She was the only medical volunteer during her two-week rotation. The medical staff treats orthopedic injuries as well as assessing and referring general medical and psychosocial conditions. 

“It is very similar to my experience as a clinical athletic trainer in the collegiate setting,” said Howard, who earned her Bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from VSU. “You treat the injuries or conditions that are within your scope of training and education and serve as the gatekeeper for referral to other medical professionals on the sports medicine team.”  

Howard says some highlights from her trip were working with a post-operative men’s rugby player, getting to spend two weeks with women’s field hockey and attending BMX practices. Her spare time was limited to mostly Sundays when she had time off to explore the San Diego area.  

“I have always been a huge fan of the Olympic movement and have watched all of the Olympic games since I was a child,” said Howard. “I worked in the Olympic village and the closing ceremonies at the 1996 Atlanta games so it is great to feel that I am contributing in a small way to something that has brought me so much inspiration and pleasure as a fan.” 

Previously Lori has been a medical volunteer at the OTC in Colorado Springs, Colo., and worked primarily with the men’s gymnastics team and women’s volleyball team.

The USOTC accepts volunteer applications from certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, physicians, massage therapists and chiropractors. The sports medicine volunteers work alongside the fulltime sports medicine staff to provide medical services to elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes during busy times. 

For more information, contact Howard at lchoward@valdosta.edu