Eric St. Pierre, a Lafayette chiropractic sports doctor, has helped speed skaters, weightlifters and other elite athletes recover from injuries and stay in top condition.
It’s that experience with five national teams, he said, that secured him a spot as one of five chiropractic doctors on the 47-member medical staff selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to support athletes at the Winter Olympics.
“This is just a dream come true,” he said. “It’s very exciting.”
He left Saturday for Vancouver, where he will work as a trainer for the short track speed skating team and assist with the general care for all 200 athletes in the Olympic Village. The Olympics officially open Friday and wrap up Feb. 28.
The 30-year-old St. Pierre heads up sports rehabilitation at Lafayette’s South Pointe Medical Center, a pain and physical rehabilitation clinic.
“This means so much to my practice,” he said.
Though it will be his first chance to attend the Olympics, he said he doesn’t expect to spend time enjoying the games.
“We will work a ton,” he said. “We’re there to help the athletes. You’re expected to be sleep deprived, overworked.”
He’s worked with the men and women’s short track speed skating team for the past five months and called both teams “very strong.”
Star Apolo Anton Ohno, the 27-year-old speed skater who has racked up five medals at the Winter Olympics, is joined by a roster of strong skaters, St. Pierre said.
“These teams are better than we’ve ever had,” he said. “We have mentally and physically strong athletes. We expect them to do well. We’ll be proud of them no matter what happens.”
In the Olympics, he said, nothing is a sure bet.
“Anything can happen, especially with the short track,” he said. “It’s a race. It’s so fast, so intense. You can get knocked down.”
As a chiropractor with a background in sports medicine, he said, he can help athletes recover from injuries and stay in top physical shape as they recover from the intense physical demands of their sports.
“The key to these athletes is their commitment to doing everything they can to be ready,” he said.
Along with the speed skating teams, St. Pierre has worked with the U.S. bobseld, water polo, weightlifting and volleyball teams.