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When the Olympians come calling

Local chiropractor Dr. Dave Gabay will treat Olympic athletes when they spend time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid at the end of October.

Local chiropractor Dr. Dave Gabay will treat Olympic athletes when they spend time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid at the end of October. Submitted photo

— Fifteen years ago, Saratoga Springs chiropractor Dr. David Gabay worked with the U.S. Olympic team at the training center in Colorado Springs, Colo., before the Atlanta summer games in 1996.

Now, in a move rarely afforded twice, he’s doing it again.

“Usually you get to do one location in a career or lifetime but I was absolutely thrilled when they called me to do another rotation in Lake Placid,” said Gabay, who recently got a call from the Olympic Committee.

Gabay will spend the last two weeks of October treating athletes in training for the 2014 Winter Olympics at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid. He doesn’t have a full schedule of which teams he’ll work with, but sports like bobsledding, the luge, skeleton and ski jump typically train up north.

“My function is team chiropractor at the [U.S.] Olympic Training Center. I’ll be handling lower back injuries but also all muscular skeletal injuries,” said Gabay. “I’ll be on call, setting up, working on patients, evaluating and treating their injuries.”

Gabay will work with a team of other doctors chosen by the U.S. Olympic Committee, including a medical doctor, orthopedist, massage therapist and athletic trainers. For many of the athletes, this October training session will determine the future of their Olympic dreams.

“I’ll be ascertaining which ones will continue to train, which will be sidelined, what tests need to be done and balancing the aspirations of the athletes for their goals in competition and what is safe for them,” said Gabay. “We don’t want to send an athlete out for competition in the Olympics and have them dealing with a lifelong injury that will affect them for their remaining years. Sometimes you’ve got to make that unpopular decision and say ‘You can’t compete.’”

The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid opened in 1982, and the present facility opened in 1989.

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