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Lubbock Doctor Recalls Stress as Olympic Team Physician

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 11:49 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - We have focused on Dr. Pat Reynolds many times as a renowned cancer researcher at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

But he has also competed nationally in Rifle and Rapid Fire Pistol.

He never went on to the Olympics for that but he did go for another reason.

Dr. Reynolds was a team physician at the ‘92 Olympics in Barcelona.

This is what he told me after watching the Olympics now. “There have been a few negative comments and I think those were most unfortunate.” Dr. Pat Reynolds is referring to gymnast Simone Biles and her decision to step down from competition due to mental health. He says, “I think anybody who’s never been at the Olympics {doesn’t} understand the enormous pressure that these athletes are under.”

Even in 1992, during the Olympics in Barcelona, Dr. Reynolds says the mental health of the athletes was just as concerning, “Absolutely. And I think it was more in the terms of stress leading to actual physical diseases, okay, which I had to take care of.”

Olympic competition is so stressful that he says the team physician feels it too; because it is health care under pressure, healing with a deadline.

Today, his takeaway from the Olympics as a physician is there is tremendous pressure to make sure every athlete is performing at their best -even the competition- because that’s what an Olympian wants most: to beat the best.

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