Daily Republic Q&A: Margallo working with Olympians through US Ski and Snowboarding Association
Mitchell native Chris Margallo, a physical therapist now living in New York City, has worked with a number of United States Olympians who will be competing in Sochi, Russia over the next two weeks.
Margallo, a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Minnesota, moved to New York City in 2003 and owns a private practice with his wife, Ruxandra, whom he married two years ago. Margallo’s practice, where he treats a number of athletes privately, is called Progressive Movement Physical Therapy.
Margallo is on a rotation to work with the U.S. ski and snowboard teams. He is a board certified sports physical therapist and is a part of the medical pool for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.Margallo recently discussed his involvement with professional athletes in a phone interview with The Daily Republic. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Q: How many Oympians have you worked with who are heading to Sochi for the Olympic games?
A: Actually quite a few of them. I would say there are probably about 10-15 between the coaches and athletes that I have worked with.
Q: What is your involvement with U.S. olympians?
A: There are a select few of us who are on the rotational physical therapy team for the U.S. ski and snowboard teams. They select us to travel with the team. Generally, I travel with the U.S. freestyle aerial team and the ski team. I also travel with the U.S. snowboarder cross team and the halfpipe team.
Q: How did you become involved with the U.S. ski and snowboard teams? A: When I was in PT school I did a clinical in Los Angeles where I got to work with a number of professional athletes. I did a second one in Vail, Colo., where I got set up with the ski and snowboard teams.
Q: Is Shaun White (a gold-medal winning U.S. snowboarder) one of the athletes you have had the opportunity to work with? What’s he like to work with? A: I have worked with Shaun. Shaun is a cool guy to work with. Just like all the athletes that I have worked with, he is so driven to be at his best and to be at that top level. I’ve worked with a lot of professional athletes, and these skiers and snowboarders work just as hard as the basketball and football players.
Q: Was there an opportunity for you to go to Sochi with the team for the games?
A: Sochi was not on the table at all. I will be going to the Junior World Championships in Italy instead, which I’m happy about. I didn’t really want to go to Sochi for the Olympics this year. Maybe in the future, but not this year.I think it will be safe over there, despite what we have heard. There are a lot of people who are hesitant to go because of what they have heard, but I think the spirit of the games will prevail. What I have heard from the guys who are over there is that it’s going to be just like the Olympics should be with all of the great competition.
Q: What is something that is noticeably different about working with these Olympians compared to, say, a professional basketball or football player?
A: The thing that really stands out is how appreciative they are for everything, especially the support they receive from their fan bases. A lot of conversations that we have is how blessed they feel to be representing the United States.These guys are a lot more laid back, but at the same time, they are so driven. Some athletes, when you meet them they are a little standoffish, but you meet these skiers and snowboarders and it’s like they are your neighbor.
Q: What are some of the most exciting places you have be able to go to with the team?
A: I have spent most of my time in Europe for the World Cup events. Ones that really stand out are Austria and Belarus.