Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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U.S. Athletes Are in Her Hands

By Steven Luke
|  Sunday, Jan 17, 2010  |  Updated 12:38 PM PDT
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Local Doctor to Care for U.S. Athletes

After years of working for national teams and at world championships - she earned a volunteer position at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Heading up the U.S. High Performance Center in Whistler.
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Most days you'll find Michelle Look, M.D. working with patients and walking the halls of the Alvarado Medical Building in College Grove but in just a couple of weeks she'll be on a mountain of a mission.

After years of working for national teams and at world championships - she earned a volunteer position at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Heading up the U.S. High Performance Center in Whistler.

The center is basically the medical clinic in the mountains where skiiers and bobsledders will go to receive treatment.

Just as it is an honor to make the Olympic team as an athlete, it is also a huge accomplishment to make the team as a doctor. Look calls the position the pinnacle of her profession.

She'll work long days making sure even the slightest athlete request is handled.

"Even if a little bit of fatigue from jet lag, or especially even a slight upper respiratory infection can be enough to cause that hundredths of a second to take them off the medal stand," Look said.

Along with seeing patients - she'll also play an important role in drug testing.

"Our role is to really represent the athletes, so if one of our athletes gets chosen for drug testing, we go and supervise the whole process to protect our athletes rights."

And should she need a favor - there's a valuable lesson she learned at the paralympic games in China. U.S. pins go a long way.

"One of my athletes we thought had an ankle fracture. I kind of slipped a few pins to some of the volunteers in Beijing to try and get them an X-ray sooner," she said.

Doing what it takes to be the best – just what this doctor ordered.
 

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