Massage therapist to work with athletes in Sochi

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A massage therapist based in Warwick has worked with some of the best athletes in the world, and now, she’s taking the trip of a lifetime: to work with Olympic athletes at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

“My job is simple: to give the athlete one less thing to worry about,” says licensed massage therapist Lou Ann Botsford. Tuesday, she was working on the muscle groups of Atlanta Braves prospect Chris Costantino of Lincoln. “I’m there to aid in recovery, and increase readiness, and hopefully minimize the risk of future injury,” says Botsford.

She’ll be working with the U.S. Olympic ski jump team when the games begin in Sochi on February 6. She was invited by the director of physical therapy for the Alpine Clinic, the team’s official physicians.

“To be asked to be part of this truly amazes me,” Lou Ann said. “I’m honored, humbled — and so grateful!”

Much has been made of potential security issues in Russia during the Games, but Botsford is hoping for the best.

“I want to believe that security will be top-notch, and that we will be safe over there.

“Of course, there is some anxiety, but I can’t let that influence me!”

The trick now: As a volunteer, Botsford must now raise funds before leaving for Sochi. If you’d like to help, she and friends are holding a fundraiser at Natale’s Deli on South County Trail in East Greenwich on Saturday, Jan. 26.

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