Rhythmic gymnastics is one of the most beautiful Olympic sports to watch, a combination of ballet, gymnastics and dance, but the elite athletes who compete are subject to the same kinds of injuries all athletes seek to avoid.
Helping them do so is where a support team led by Elizabeth Darling, DPT and Amanda Scully ’07, ’10DPT come in.
Darling is the medical director of the team of six rhythmic gymnasts who qualified for this summer’s Rio de Janiero Olympics. She and Scully, her colleague at Keystone Physical Therapy in Erie, carry out an injury prevention program specifically addressing the needs of rhythmic gymnasts.
“Elizabeth and Amanda have helped create a team of gymnasts ready to compete at the highest level,” said Caroline Hunt, director for rhythmic gymnastics, U.S. Olympic Team.
The effort includes several other Gannon physical therapy and athletic training graduates and students. Rosie Cooper ’10, ‘13DPT and Amanda Till ‘14DPT did their clinical training with Darling and Scully, and had the opportunity to work with the rhythmic gymnastics team. Mary Vicary ’14, ‘16DPT, who did a clinical rotation with Darling and Scully, also worked at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York.
Scully credits her success to the solid training she received during her years at Gannon. “Even though the science-based courses were hard, they gave me a base of knowledge that made everything I’ve done since easier,” she said.