No ‘long shot’
By Karen Petit, firstname.lastname@example.org, (803) 777-5037
Cathy Arnot’s travel diary reads like a promotional flyer for a travel agency: Italy, Cyprus, Thailand, Greece, Germany, China, Spain, Serbia, Korea, Slovenia, Australia, Poland and Mexico.
Since 2003, the Arnold School of Public Health physical therapist has traveled with the USA Shooting team to cities abroad and throughout the United States.
Her expertise in physical therapy has become so recognized and respected that Arnot has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Division to serve as a member of the U.S. medical staff for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Assigned to USA Shooting, she will provide care and be on-call for the athletes 24 hours a day.
Arnot, a clinical assistant professor in the physical therapy program of the department of exercise science, said that when the letter arrived announcing her selection that she hesitated before telling anyone. “I was afraid that I might jinx the invitation,” she said. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Her work with USA Shooting, which has athletes on rifle, shotgun and pistol teams, began in 2003 when she was selected to work with the team for the World Cup (shotgun) in Lonato, Italy, and the World Cup Final (shotgun) in Lanarca, Cyprus. Since then, as her passport shows, she has traveled the world with the USA Shooting team, including the Pre-Olympic World Cup (shotgun, rifle and pistol) in Beijing, China, in 2008.
In 2011, she was a medical volunteer for the Pan Am Games. Most recently, she was in Milan, Italy, for the World Cup (rifle and pistol).
She headed to a training camp in Copenhagen, Denmark, before arriving in London on July 25, just ahead of the July 27 Opening Ceremony. The first competition for USA Shooting was July 28, when the women’s air rifle team competed.
Her schedule in London is demanding. The USA Shooting Team qualified for 21 Olympic events during 2010 and 2011, and the demanding competitions and practices can lead to injuries related to an athlete’s positioning, including problems with the neck, shoulder and back, as well as hip, knees and elbows, said Arnot, who is housed in the Olympic Village with the female members of USA Shooting.
Working with the athletes is both professionally and personally rewarding, Arnot said.
“You know how serious the competition is for them and how important your work is in helping them compete,” she said. “When an athlete thanks you after they have received a medal, it is very gratifying, and you do feel that you are part of Team USA. They make you proud.”
Arnold School of Public Health