The FICS has been working with the African National Olympic Committees for several years, and this year was no exception. Two intrepid DCs were sent to Lagos, Nigeria to serve on the medical commission of the 6th African Championships held there this year.
Bell and Miller Go to Africa
Dr. Larry Bell (see photo #1) in the fellowship program of the Canadian College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences program, from Orillia, Ontario; and Dr. Alan Miller, D.C. (see photo #2), from Simi Valley, California, teamed up to provide much needed care in the prevention and treatment of various sports injuries occurring in elite athletes.
Dr. Bell, a veteran of the previous year's Championships, in Algeria, was appointed "Chef-de-Mission." Dr. Bell realized he would be up against a very busy schedule when only two of the four appointed DCs arrived, due to transportation and family problems. In the last year's program in Algeria, the FICS had ten DCs present and accredited, and they were all busy.
Credit David Chapman-Smith
He credited Mr. David Chapman-Smith, secretary general of the World Federation of Chiropractic for his publication, The Chiropractic Report, which helped "break the ice" with some of the more timid athletes. The issue in French was particularly helpful and led to many discussions regarding the placement of chiropractors with some additional national teams, as well as the possibility of developing some kind of seminar.
Radio, News, and TV Coverage
By early on in the week, the two doctors were interviewed by every local and national newspaper and radio station, and were filmed a couple of times for nightly news reports, and included in an "end-of-the-game" wrap-up.
The FICS delegates treated virtually every finalist in every event, especially the sprinting events. Dr. Miller noted that Nigeria was very strong and has three 100-meter sprinters under 15 and two are under 20 years of age.
Events to Be Delayed
The popularity of "pre-event fine-tuning," which our service had come to be called, as well as injury treatment, compounded by a lack of manpower, left the team facing long lines for service. Events actually occasionally ran late due to the athletes who, having experienced chiropractic benefits, felt they didn't want to compete without seeing the DCs. This, in particular, caused great interest and led to productive talks with IAAF officials and an invitation to the World Cup of Track and Field in Barcelona a month hence.
Miller to Go to University Games
Quite a few of these athletes are based in Southern California and will be treated by Dr. Miller, who will also travel to Germany for the University Games as the team DC for Sierra Leone.
Commonwealth Games in New Zealand
Several FICS members participated in an official capacity, including the FICS' 1st vice president, Dr. Noel Patterson, of Perth, representing Australia as a member of the medical team. Dr. Patterson reports that he treated more athletes during the course of the games than the entire balance of the Australian medical team combined. Dr. Gary Weddell (see photo #3), of California, was also there as team DC for Sierra Leone, as well as Dr. Don Oyao, and Dr. Howard O'Meara of Australia. Dr. Weddell was interviewed for the BBC to show in London.