Olympic ‘Flame’: Dr. Mark R. Hutchinson to Serve on Medical Team at 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dr Mark Hutchinson

Mark R. Hutchinson, MD
Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at UI Health

In sports, the Olympic Games is the ultimate stage. The same can be said for sports medicine.

Dr. Mark Hutchinson, professor of Orthopaedics and director of Sports Medicine at UI Health, will get to realize his Olympic dream this summer.

Hutchinson recently was invited by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to serve as part of the medical team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

For Hutchinson, who also is the head physician for UIC's athletic teams, it's the culmination of a decades-long commitment to Team USA.

"My service to ultimately become one of the United States Olympic Committee's team physicians has been a 25-year path for me," said Hutchinson, who has worked Team USA's gymnastics, field hockey, basketball, and soccer teams.

In 1989, Hutchinson attended the first International Olympic Committee World Congress on Sport Sciences in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and had the opportunity to visit the Olympic Training Center.

"I was put on a doctor waiting list and have subsequently attended every IOC World Congress on Sport Science and Injury Prevention," Hutchinson said.

He was the team physician for the rhythmic gymnastics team during the Atlanta games in 1996 but was not formally a USOC doctor at the games. He later was a team doctor for the United States Olympic Committee — formally on the medical team — including the 2006 Paralympic Games in Torino.

"This past summer, I was asked to serve by the USOC as one of the team physicians for Team USA at the Pan American Games in Toronto," Hutchinson said. "Historically, the Pan Am Games just prior to the Olympic Games is the proving ground for the medical team that will serve Team USA at the next Olympic Games.

Indeed, a few weeks ago the USOC formally invited Hutchinson to serve as part of the medical team for the Rio games.

Hutchinson says it's very exciting to be fulfilling a lifelong, career-long dream to help athletes perform "faster, higher, stronger — and healthier," a play on the Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius."