As kids, many people grow up wishing to become Olympic athletes.
But Kentaro Onishi’s dream was to become an Olympic doctor. And his dream has come true.
Dr. Onishi is one of a select few physicians from around the world chosen to work with athletes during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“I like working with athletes,” he said. “Particularly athletes who are endurance-type athletes.”
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Nishi is a doctor at UPMC, where he specializes in muscular ultrasound technology.
“What I do is nonsurgical sports medicine,” said Onishi, whose father was an Olympic swimmer for Japan.
Onishi is one of 12 doctors chosen from around the globe to work in the Athletes Village and treat a variety of ailments.
“It could be from a common cold to some sort of muscular, skeletal, sports-related injury to maybe a nervous breakdown, possibly” Onishi said.
Onishi applied for the opportunity about a year ago, and with this experience, is a frontrunner to work the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I think this is a very honorable thing, and dating back to my sixth-grade yearbook, I remember vividly writing that my dream was to go to the Olympics as a sports physician,” he said.
“It’s certainly a very exciting thing and honorable thing to actually be able to help these athletes do inspirational things.”
Onishi is an amateur athlete himself – he recently lowered his marathon time under three hours, qualifying him for the Boston Marathon in April.
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