Basking Ridge chiropractor Fred Rossi isn't going to compete in the Olympics, but he is going to help the U.S. mens' wrestling team go for the gold.
Rossi leaves Aug. 5 to head to London to be at the games when seven U.S. mens' wrestlers compete as part of the mens' Freestyle Olympians. He said he will remain at the games until closing ceremonies on Aug. 12.
The Basking Ridge resident says his role will be to make sure that the wrestlers' spines are as perfectly adjusted as possible. "It's going to help their performance," he said.
Rossi is a chiropractor at Rossi Family Chiropractic on Valley Road, where he said he has patients ranging in age from six weeks to age to age 92. He said he also works with the wrestling team at Watchung Hills Regional High School.
But working with elite athletes is totally different, he said. "They have different stresses," he said. The Olympians are under intense physical stress that's never experienced by the general population, he said.
Wrestlers are hardly "gentle with each other," he added. "They have an amazing amount of toughness, grit and intestinal fortitude," he said.
Rossi is back in Basking Ridge this week, having returned last week from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Although he said he is familiar with the country's top wrestlers, he said he wasn't sure he would be working with until the team members qualified at the Olympic Trials held in June in Iowa.
Rossi said he got to know the top wrestling athletes over time and it took time for the athletes, as well as the head wrestling coach who will be at the Olympic games, Zeke Jones, to get to trust him. He said the wrestling staff also researched the Maximum Living chiropractic techniques he uses, which seek to maximize mind, nutrition, nerve supply, lean muscle and oxygen and to reduce toxicity.
He said that being at the Olympics with the wrestlers will help advance credibility for the Maximum Living approach. Another chiropractor, Dr. Fred Roberti from Atlanta, will also be in London with the team, he said.
Rossi said he had accompanied some of the same top wrestlers to last September's world wrestling championship held in Turkey.
But he's looking forward to the Olympic games as perhaps providing his most memorable opportunity to work with the world's top athletes. "People tell me it's going to be an experience of a lifetime."
Rossi said he grew up in the Millington section of Long Hill Township, although he said he now lives in Basking Ridge with his wife, Tracey, and children Caia and Nicolas.
Rossi said he has a second chiropractic office in Phillipsburg, where he also operates a fitness center, Club Metro USA.