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How Chiropractic got into the Olympic Games

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EDITORIAL : NB- This article is an editorial. However, it is well documented, and written by an individual with first hand knowledge of the subject. WikiChiro allows some editorials when they contribute to a better understanding of the subject. The content/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of WikiChiro or any of its Directors.
Dr. Perry
Irving Dardik, MD
Dr. Schroeder
Dr. Press

The Beginning (1979)

In 1979, a meeting took place in Englewood, NJ which forever changed the future of sports chiropractic. Little was ever published, and several people maliciously tried to take credit for the breakthroughs that resulted.

Thus, rumors have persisted for 30 years about how Chiropractic got into the US Olympic program. Now, with the recorded interviews here, and an affidavit from Dr. Dardik, this documentary article should close the subject.

Perry's TV appearance

The facts at the time were never made public, due to the climate in which the meeting took place, and the professionalism of those involved. The individuals involved chose to just do their jobs, and keep a low profile. In fact, it was exactly because of the publicity that ensued after Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow Show" aired with Dr. LeRoy Perry and Dwight Stones, [1]that the USOC determined not to accept Dr. Perry as their team Doctor.

Naturally, Dr. Perry could not have known that he was martyring himself to this cause, but the TV show's effect on the USOC at that time did exactly that.

Remember that we were just getting over the era of the controversial Avery Brundage's leadership, where "amateur" meant a hat check girl at a skating rink was barred from Olympic competition as a Diver because she had been paid to work for a sport. Seem's crazy now perhaps... But Brundage was largely responsible for that strict interpretation. Thus when Stones gave credit to Perry for his medal on national TV, it worked exactly to Perry's disadvantage.

Schroeder sends a letter

So it was on this backdrop that Leonard Schroeder, DC, founder of the ACA Sports Council, sent a letter to his members, asking if [2] "anyone knew who any of the members of the USOC Sports Medicine Council?" . Dr. Stephen Press, who had just begun his career in Englewood the year before, was already a member of the Council and got that letter. It was an open secret in Englewood that Irving Dardik, MD then practicing in the same town, and a renowned vascular surgeon (he and his brother Herbert won the AMA's Hektoen Prize), was the Chairman of Sports Medicine for USOC.

Press arranges a meeting

Dr. Press knew Dardik's partner, Dr. Ib Ibrahim and called the office, asking Dr. Ibrahim to put Dardik on the phone. They spoke, and Dardik agreed to meet with Drs Press and Schroeder, if Press could put the meeting together.

Press called Len Schroeder asking if he wanted a meeting with the USOC Sports Medicine Chairman [3]. Schroeder asked "Who is it?". After a few minutes, Press got a conference call with Schroeder and the Chairman of the ACA Board of Governors, to make sure Press was for real.

A meeting was then set up at Englewood Hospital Cafeteria a few weeks later [4] , and Dr. Schroeder flew in from Chicago.

Dardik Meets Janse

The three had a pleasant and productive discussion, and it was agreed that since Dardik was heading to Colorado Springs through O'Hare, a subsequent meeting could be arranged with Dr. Joseph Janse for a tour of National College's facilities. Dardik flew to Chicago, Where [3] Drs' Len Schroeder and William Womer picked him up and took him to National College and was give that tour. Now duly impressed with our representatives, our educational process and leaders, he went to the USOC Training Center prepared to make a decision that would forever change both his own life and our profession's future. To include a DC with the Olympic team!

Dardik asks Press to go to Lake Placid

When he returned to Englewood, he called Dr. Press; reaching him at home, he asked him [5] "Do you want to go?". Dr. Press was in practice only one year at the time, and demurred, saying that "as much as I want to do that, it would not be fair either to the athletes or to the chiropractic profession" to be judged at that early stage of his career.

Press Recommends Goodheart

Dardik then asked him "then whom do you recommend?" [5] Press told him "you know who the athletes want". Dardik replied something to the effect that Perry was anathema to the USOC for the reasons already explained, and thus he could never go with the US. Press then said; "well, then his work is all based on techniques discovered by Dr. George Goodheart in Detroit". Dardik then offered this; "I am grateful to you Stephen for your honesty and altruism. As we discussed at Englewood Hospital we will start a program now to have DC's come to Colorado Springs like MD's currently do, and you will be the first to participate." World and USOC politics interfered in Dardik's being able to keep that promise to Press, and yet another miscommunication at Colorado Springs caused the trainer there, (one Robert Beeten)[6] who was then in charge of selecting DC's (for whom he had a basic disdain anyway), to reject Press' application. For some reason Beeten associated Press with Perry. So Press' long time friend Tom Hyde, DC, became the 1st DC accepted into that program. [7]

Once Dardik got the recommendation from Press for Goodheart, he called him in Detroit, and invited him to Colorado Springs where he made several appearances, demonstrating his techniques on Dardik and others. Once again duly impressed, the USOC Sports Medicine Council voted unanimously to bring George Goodheart to Lake Placid for the XIIIth Winter Olympic Games, as the US's first official team DC.

Others Claim Credit

There was a little professional espionage which also prevented Press from being appropriately credited. It seems there was a DC in Dumont New Jersey, named Leo Minsky, who knew Goodheart well, because he was a diplomate in the ICAK. Minsky got wind of the connection, because he came to a meeting at Newark Airport where National College was running the first ever Certification for Sports Chiropractic, then called "Certified Team Physician" or CTP (it subsequently morphed into "CCTP", and finally the present CCSP program. Minsky, was arrested for trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife Libby, plead guilty and surrendered his professional license. [8] So this felon, called his buddy Goodheart and claimed credit for giving Dardik his name. Dr. Goodheart died never believing that Press was really responsible; he always believed that Minsky was actually responsible for him going to the Olympic Games. Much later, in an interview with Mike Reed, DC, who became USOC's Medical Director, Dr. Reed told Cleveland Chiropractic Colleges' Journal, "Health Insights Today" that his father Robert C. Reed, DC had also claimed to have given Goodheart's name to Dardik, and was even asked to go to Lake Placid, but allegedly "turned it down because he had five children and couldn't get away". [9] Of course, Dr. Dardik's affidavit [5] regarding the facts indicates that this too, was not based in reality.

An interesting result perhaps of the rejection by the USOC was that Press went on to become the Founder and first President of the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), and later became Chief Physician for the whole Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France in 1992.

Thus, LeRoy Perry opened the door, and the rest could not have happened without his intrepid entrepreneurship. But in the end it was Dr. Press, who, together with a courageous and open-minded Dr. Irving Dardik was really responsible for bringing Chiropractic into the Olympic games.

Interim Period

From the 1980 games, until the 1984 Summer games in Los Angeles, little came of Dardik's promise to Dr. Press, until Dr. Eileen Haworth, the wife of a Podiatrist with connections to track and Field, was working with the Olympic track and Field Coach, Chuck DeBus,[10] and he recommended her to USOC. She then went to the US Olympic Festival in Indianapolis, IN and in 1983 to the US Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, subsequently she was asked to accompany the US team to [6] the 1984 Summer Games, becoming the 2nd US Olympic team DC.[4] The following year, (1985), Dr. George Billauer [4][6] was also appointed to attend the US Olympic Festival officially.

A Program Starts in Earnest

Finally, in 1987, a two week volunteer doctor program, as Dr. Dardik had promised was finally instituted in earnest (though from 1982-1985 Dr. Haworth and several others had been to Colorado Springs, this was still a sort of test program), and Dr. Tom Hyde went to Colorado Springs on June 2, 1987 [4] (Dr. Hyde went on to become the US team's Doctor for the 1987 Pan Am Games, followed by Dr. Jan Corwin on August 25 [4], who was appointed to become US Olympic Team Doctor for 1988 in Seoul, Korea, and the process began.


  1. Wooley, DC, James (1980). "The Olympic Athletes Speak Out: They Want Dr. Perry — He Wants Chiropractic". Chiropractic Economics. Retrieved 2011. 
  2. "Letter to ACA Sports Council Members". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Leonard Schroeder, DC. Interview with Stephen J. Press, DC. "Recollections of our meeting with Dr. Dardik". 7th Aug, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Applegate, BS, M.Div., S.T.M., LLoyd (1987). "Chiropractic and the United States Olympic Committee" (in English). Chiropractic Sports Medicine (Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins) 1 (1): 8-9. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Affidavit of Irving Dardik, MD as to the facts of the meeting in Englewood Hospital", 1979". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Staff. "United States Olympic Committee; Division of Sports Medicine; Chiropractic Selection Committee". ACA Sports Council (Archived Site). Retrieved 2011. 
  7. Horwitz, S (December 18, 1995). "The US Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado". Dynamic Chiropractic 13 (26). 
  8. State of NJ vs. Leo Minsky, [1] (Order of NJ State Board of Medical Examiners 5/11/1983).
  9. Redwood, DC, Daniel (Fall 2008). "Olympic Chiropractor; Interview with Michael Reed, DC, DACBSP" (in English). Health Insights Today (Cleveland Chiropractic College) 1 (4). Retrieved 8/2011. 
  10. Eileen Haworth, DC. Interview with Stephen J. Press, DC. "Recollections of how I went to the Olympics". 3/2012.

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