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JOHN SPECA- 16 DEC 2017

1 Comment

  1. Jeff Hastings

    JIM BALFANZ writes:
    Please know that I am sending this to merely inform you of some history of how the sports medicine program began with the Nordic Teams. During my first year as NPD, in 1970-71, we had a jumper get seriously injured in a competition that was held “behind the Iron Curtain.” The jumping coach (Lloyd “Snowball” Severud) called me at the US Team office in Denver to tell me how meager the medical facilities were, and that they wanted to operate. We made the decision to fly the team member home to the US for his Surgery, at a cost that greatly “dented” our already meager Nordic Program budget.

    That incident led me to talk with Dr. Fred Schoonmaker – who was chief of Cardiology at St. Luke’s hospital in Denver. The sum of that conversation had Dr. Schoonmaker volunteering to establish a program (as was being done with the Alpine program) whereby we would have an American doctor with us for all future Nordic competitions. Every one of them volunteered their services.

    The Nordic sports medicine program was thereby initiated with the various aspects of it being set up and coordinated by such people as Fred Schoonmaker, Richard Suinn, , Arthur Dickinson, Marvin Klein and others, whom I cannot recall at this moment. These men helped our Nordic Program establish what became a very successful sports medicine program by the time I left the US Nordic Program in 1975. One of the Nordic coaches who really “jumped” in with both feet with this program was Marty Hall who returned to the Cross Country Program following the 71 season. The sports medicine program became such an important overall part of the entire Nordic effort.

    It is wonderful to read this story, knowing that so many other terrific medical personnel had preceded them and that our athletes are well taken care of by professionals from our own country.

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