FICS Goes to Zimbabwe for 6th All-African Games

By Clayton Heatley
Front photo: Opening ceremonies of the 6th All-African Games. The flag being unfurled on the field is that of the host country, Zimbabwe.

Bleed photo: -- collage of three photos (soccer/boxing/track)

The Mozambique team enters the stadium during opening ceremonies led by a warrior in traditional garb.

The a.m. chiropractic pow-wow, before the DCs split off to the various athletic venues.

The games featured not only the Olympic greco-roman style wrestling, but also traditional African wrestling, where the man first thrown to the ground loses the contest.

Kenyans celebrate their 1-2-3 finish in the mens 800 meters with a victory lap.

Zimbabwean support staff for the All-African Games.

Dr. Michael Anderson, basking in a bevy of track athletes from Tanzania, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia).
Britain recognized independence of Zimbabwe in 1980.
Geography: landlocked country in south central Africa, slightly smaller than California.
Bordered by Botswana (west); Zambia (north); Mozambique (east); South Africa (south).
Government: Parliamentary democracy with unicameral legislature
Head of State: Robert Mugabe
Capital and largest city: Harare (863,000)
Official language: English
Religion: Syncretic (50%); Christian (25%); Animist (24%).

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- It was hot and exceedingly dry during the 6th All-African Games, Sept. 13-26, causing the purple flowers of the jacaranda trees in this capital city to blossom in spectacular fashion.

Some 6,000 athletes from 48 countries displayed their athletic prowess in performances at 22 venues. Thirty chiropractors from the Federation Internationale de Chiropratique Sportive (FICS), representing six nations, were on hand to contribute their care and goodwill to the athletes, attending to ailments from head to toe.

Your chiropractic colleagues were will accepted and sought after by the athletes, coaches and support staff. These chiropractors volunteered their time away from their practices and paid their own transportation costs to be here for the love of their profession, the desire to work with world-class athletes, and for the sheer adventure and experience of it all.

It was a joy to work along side fellow chiropractors from around the world. The camaraderie was reinforcing. Most of the DCs found themselves having to learn a few words in various languages to get along, with French being the most common language spoken by the athletes.

There were many trainers, physical therapists, and some team doctors who watched us with great curiosity. We were thanked by many of these professionals. In all, we treated 1,820 athletes from 46 countries at 20 venues, with virtually all responses from the athletes being positive. There was even an occasional marriage proposal.

Our treating statistics will be presented to the Olympic Committee to further strengthen chiropractic's position for treating athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics next year in Atlanta.

As the games began to wind down, the chiropractors had one last get-together one evening over dinner. Our chief, Dr. Brian Nook, proposed a farewell toast: "To chiropractic, the best profession in the world." From out standpoint, no truer words could have been spoken.

Next year we have been invited to treat athletes at the All-African Wrestling Tournament in Tunisia, and the All-African Gymnastics competition in Namibia. We will of course be present in Johanesburg in 1999 for the 7th All-African Games.

FICS participants, by country, at the 6th All-African Games in Harare, Zimbabwe:

US: Gayle Nissen; Mark Hecimovich; Christopher Topel; Clayton Heatley; Robert Purcell; Jimmy Reidt; Lonnie Pitts; Jim Lowrance; Brian Nook, chief de mission; Debbie Nook, research coordinator.

Australia: Andrea Bisaz; Danica Jovic; Nick Gonzioulls; Rick Mozell; Peter Metrevski; Alan Main; Morgan Simmonds; Kym Davis; Scott Springer; Michael Anderson; David Lourie; and Paul Lanthois.

England: Thomas Greenway; Flona Jacobs; Cella Burrows; Alyson Wreford.

Scotland: Lotte Vejbe Hansen

Italy: Joseph Albarello; Alberto Farnesi

Hong Kong: Thomas Wong

Clayton Heatley, DC
Menlo Park, California

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