Mukilteo chiropractor aims to represent Mukilteo at 2020 Olympics

By Brandon Gustafson | May 01, 2019
Marc Van Driessche

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be here before we know it, and while many of us will be cheering on the U.S. athletes in various competitions, one Mukilteo business owner may be in Japan providing firsthand assisting those athletes who aim to bring the gold back to U.S.

That business owner is Marc Van Driessche, owner of Van Driessche Chiropractic (Beverly Park Chiropractic) on Mukilteo Speedway. Van Driessche has been operating in Mukilteo for 25 years, and due to his continuing training, was invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for a two-week interview process.

“I go down May 5 for a week, then come home for a month, and then go back down for the second week,” Van Driessche said. “It’s been an amazing adventure so far already.”

The process to be a chiropractor for some of the best athletes in the country is, as you’d expect, long and detailed.

Van Driessche said to even be considered, you have to be certified in sports chiropractics and complete various programs and requirements. One of those programs is a doctorate program, and Van Driessche said he believes he is one of four in the state to complete it. He was just cleared a few weeks ago to make the trip.

“That program is very elite,” he said.

Van Driessche has been following the specific courses required to be an Olympic chiropractor for some time. He said as soon as learned about the program, he decided to go for it.

“This particular course took me six years to get to this level,” he said. “Not many doctors in my profession in Washington even get invited.”

Van Driessche has been in sports chiropractics for the last 25 years, working with professional athletes on the Seahawks, high school athletes, mixed-martial artists, boxers, semipro football players, and more.

Now, he is with the elite of the elite. He said only 20 chiropractors in the country get invited to the Olympic facilities and, if he makes the cut, he will be just one of 10 chiropractors to make the trip to Tokyo.

In Van Driessche’s favor is a friend, a classmate at the Palmer College of Chiropractic, who completed the same program and traveled to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“He told me to prepare for long days,” Van Driessche said, laughing. “His information and guidance, it’s very appreciated.”

Van Driessche said he wants to be as prepared as he can, as he really wants to be selected.

“I bought my own med kid just to be prepared. I don’t know exactly what to expect.”

Just like sports, the medical staff at the games and at the facility will be working together.

“You work very closely with other health-care providers,” Van Driessche said. “You’re never by yourself. It’s a team effort.”

The process to get to this point has been extremely time consuming, he added.

“It’s a lot of stress on your family. I flew to Southern California every month for a year. I had to complete online modules, exams, and you have to do a certain amount of volunteer hours.”

His wife has been supportive of his endeavour, he said.

“My wife has been an amazing woman to support me in this,” he  said. “It’s a drain of funds, and it’s a lot of time away from the family.”

The opportunity to represent his business, his family, and the city of Mukilteo is what drives him.

“To rep the small town of Mukilteo and my profession and to help Team USA out, that would be a dream come true. That would be the pinnacle of my career.”

If Van Driessche is selected, he would either work specifically with one team, such as the basketball team or the gymnastics team, or he would work more generally and help out wherever is needed.

Even if he’s not selected this time to go to the Olympics, Van Driessche is proud just to be in the running.

“It’s a great honor to be invited to go to the Olympic Training Center,” he said.

The journey may also result in checking an item off his bucket list.

“A big bucket list item of mine is visiting Japan.”

The experience has already been a bit crazy, Van Driessche said, and he hopes the hard work results in representing the U.S., and Mukilteo, in Tokyo.

“It would be amazing to potentially be the first doctor from Mukilteo to work the Olympic games,” he said. “To put our little city on the map, I’d love that. It’s my home.”

 

 

 

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