Stevenson-Flom: Winding Down but not Finished Yet!

With Modibo Keita, a taekwondo athlete from Mali.
With Modibo Keita, a taekwondo athlete from Mali.

The Games are beginning to wind down and the Village is beginning to thin out and knowing that this was happening, I guess that I thought that the Clinic would be on the downside too. Well, not so much! If today was any indication, we will be busy until the last athlete, coach and trainer leave the property.

By the end of the day I had added two more Countries: Azerbaijan and Ethiopia and a new sport: Table Tennis. Seriously, Table Tennis? Sure enough, and to all my Massage Therapist friends, boy oh boy, did this guy need work!

Among those who are still waiting for their first competition are the Synchronized Swimmers and Taekwondo. It is with these athletes that I have had the longest relationship with, having seen them daily since getting here. The ladies of the Egyptian synchronized team (they gave me permission to mention them by name) are beautiful, polite, appreciative and serious about their sport. There are nine of them that train and eight that will compete. And train they do, three times a day! They will have their moment to shine on Thursday for the technical portion of the program and on Friday for the freestyle portion. Through them, I have learned about the sport and what it takes to be on the Olympic stage. I have lots to share with my adorable young Claire, who has aspirations of her own about being a Synchronized Swimmer!

I have had a few Taekwondo athletes over the last several weeks, both male and female. Now this is a sport that I had heard about but never had a clue as to what it was. Wow... Can you say intense? Thanks to my athletes, I have worked on getting familiar with the basic concept and rules of the sport so I could better understood what parts of the body would need work and that would be ... The Whole Body! A daily Taekwondo visitor to my table has been Modibo Keita of Mali (he has also given me permission to mention him). At 6' 8" tall, a challenge to fit comfortably on a massage table, this gentle (off the competition mat) giant always has a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. As it turns out, while his heart is in Mali with his family, he lives, during training, in Virginia. I will be thinking of him and sending him subliminal 'winning wishes' on Saturday as he pursues his Olympic Dream!

And now, once again, it's time to put on my Games Maker Uniform and head back to Athlete's Village to continue my own Olympic Dream!


Laura Stevenson-Flom is a nationally certified, state-licensed massage therapist with a specialty in sports massage and a private practice in her Colchester home. She will be serving as a volunteer massage therapist at the Summer Olympics, helping assist athletes from around the world. She's been assigned to Athletes' Village, one of seven Olympic Park venues.

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