On a recent June morning, as the first light illuminated Mt. Bachelor, members of the Men’s Alpine U.S. Ski Team were already halfway through their on-snow training session.
A handful of team members —including Bend native Tommy Ford — spent 10 days in Central Oregon for their annual summer training camp. Each morning, the athletes awoke around 4 a.m. to train on snow before it turned slushy from the sun around 6:45 a.m.
And each afternoon, several of the athletes received physical therapy at Rebound’s West Clinic. Rebound is an official medical provider for the U.S Ski & Snowboard Team.
The men’s Alpine team is preparing for their season opener, the Giant Slalom Alpine Skiing World Cup, slated for late October in Sölden, Austria (pending COVID-19 restrictions).
“It’s certainly a rigorous sport — their backs and knees take a pounding,” noted Forest Carey, Men’s World Cup Technical Head Coach, of the demands of Alpine skiing on his athletes. “These guys rely on having good physical therapy to be feeling good physically and to be confident to ski well.”
One of those athletes is World Cup skier and 28-year-old Vermont resident Ryan Cochran-Siegle. A 2013 crash left him with several torn ligaments and a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee (and a subsequent surgery to repair it). Since then, he has worked diligently to keep his knee strong.
“If I can see a PT regularly, it makes a huge difference in staying pain-free in my knee while skiing,” said Cochran-Siegle, who regularly competes and scores World Cup points in downhill, super-G, giant slalom and combined races.
Physical therapy plays an integral role in keeping elite athletes healthy for competition. Several Rebound PTs periodically travel nationally and internationally to provide care at various U.S. Snowboard and Freeski Team camps and competitions. Members of the U.S. Nordic (cross country) Ski Team also utilize Rebound’s services during their yearly spring training in Bend.
Receiving daily treatment at Rebound was a positive experience, according to Cochran-Siegle. “Everyone was very professional,” he said of the staff. “For somebody going through rehab (for an injury), the clinic has everything you need to get healthy.”