Sheffield chiropractor heads to Rio to keep athletes in peak condition
He spends his days curing the aches and pains of people from all walks of life in Sheffield '“ and now city chiropractor Ulrik SandstrÃ¸m has been tasked with making sure this year's Olympic athletes stay in peak condition.
Ulrik, who runs the Sheffield Chiropractic Clinic on Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, is jetting off to the Rio Games in Brazil next week to work in the clinic at the athletes’ village.
The therapist was invited to Rio after performing the same role at the London 2012 Olympics – an experience he describes as the highlight of his career so far.
“It was the first time chiropractic was an official part of the Olympic medical provision,” said Ulrik, aged 50.“It was amazing seeing all the athletes and working as a cog in a big wheel. You realise what a phenomenally huge event the Olympics is.
“This year’s Olympics are going to be a good event. Brazil managed to pull off the World Cup, so I’m sure it is going to be amazing.”
Ulrik said that, in sport, a chiropractor’s job involves ‘optimising the function and performance of the athlete’.
“You have to make sure they are able to sprint, run and jump. Chiropractic is now making its way into the mainstream.”
Originally from Denmark, Ulrik came to the UK in 1987 to study for his chiropractic degree. The dad-of-two, who also has a practice in Mansfield, now lives in Nottingham with his wife.
The therapist hopes to take in as much of Rio as he can, but has promised to stay in regular contact with his family through Skype.
“They have been very supportive of my Olympic career,” he said. At the Rio site, Ulrik could be asked to treat any athlete from any country.“
“There can be two or three different professionals working on one athlete, and that’s a really exciting part of the job. It has to be a big collaboration between medical professions.There is a great focus on getting along. There’s no room for mavericks.”
Ulrik has also worked with sports teams closer to home, including clubs in Sheffield, and currently helps Leicester Tigers Rugby Club and Derby County FC.
He leaves for Rio on Tuesday and returns on Sunday, August 21.