A U.S. Olympic team doctor blogs from Beijing: The guts, the glory, the gastrointestinal problems

Los Angeles Times—August 20, 2008

Amid all the hoopla that is the Beijing Summer Olympics, it's understandable that some things are lost in the wake of feats such as acquiring eight gold medals.

Take, for instance, the live-from-the-Beijing Olympics blog being written by Dr. Scott Rodeo (pronounced row-dee-oh, not the fancy row-day-oh), an orthopedic surgeon on the medical team treating U.S. Olympic athletes. He may not have the cachet of Oprah-approved Dr. Mehmet Oz, but Rodeo has great creds — he's the co-chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, associate team physician for the New York Giants, and a former competitive swimmer. He's done the Olympics gig before as the U.S. Olympic team's physician at the Athens Games in 2004. He has been blogging via his Blackberry about his experiences as one of several medical personnel at the event, starting with the swim team's training camp in Singapore. Which is great, except the posts are … less than spine-tingling.

"I have continued to treat both gastrointestinal illness as well as sinusitis, upper respiratory conditions, coughs, and sore throats," he writes. "We have also had a few minor injuries in swimmers (finger, elbow) which occurred from a forceful finish."

All righty then.

Frankly, we feel for Rodeo, who must be caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, he certainly has no desire to see nasty injuries befall the athletes, most of whom have trained years for this opportunity. On the other hand, flying about 7,000 miles to treat diarrhea must be … a touch of a disappointment.

"There's enough other stuff going on," he says, chuckling. "The less I see the better, because it means that everybody's healthy."

Read the full story at latimes.com.


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