Gold Medalist Uses Massage for Health & Wellness

In 7th grade, Michelle Carter’s basketball coach asked her a question that would change the rest of her life: Will you try out for shot put? “I did,” Carter says, “and the rest is history.” At this moment in history, though, Carter is likely best known for her Olympic gold win in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—the first time a United States woman has captured gold in the event since the women’s competition in the sport began in 1948.

AMTA's Massage Therapy Journal caught up with Carter to ask her some questions about having her dad support her, training, the Olympics, her sports confidence camp for girls and the role massage therapy plays in her own health and wellness.

Your father is a former Olympian and NFL star. How does he support and inspire you?

My dad is my coach and my biggest supporter. He saw my potential before I did. He constantly pushed me to be my best and let me know that I have the talent to be great, but I had to work hard for it.

What does a typical day of training look like for you?

I throw for about two to three hours and also work in the weight room for two to three hours. I also run, do drills and plyometrics for an hour, and cardio and abs for another hour.

What was it like competing in the Olympics?

The 2016 Olympics was the least stressful competition I ever had. I knew that I had a chance to win and I knew that I was prepared. All I had to do was execute and make sure I didn’t leave anything in the ring. I gave every throw my all!

Related: Olympians & Massage Therapy | Massage Therapy Journal

Did you use massage therapy as part of training and competition for the Olympics?

Yes I did. After the long 10-hour flight, I received a massage to allow my muscles to relax and to help with some swelling I had coming off the plane. I also use massage after training and on off days to help release any tension my body may have.

Related: AMTA/NCBTMB Sports Massage Specialty Certificate Program

What role does massage therapy play in your health and wellness?

Massage therapy plays a major role in my health and well-being. I get a massage one to two times a week to help with recovery, muscle tension and flexibility. I want to make sure that my muscles are able to move, glide and flex appropriately.

Related: 5 Sports Massage Benefits

Can you tell us a little bit about your You Throw Girl Sports Confidence Camp?

My goal is to empower the female athlete. I want them to know that they are capable of doing great things. I want to equip them with information and tools to help them accomplish all of their goals and dreams, both within and outside of sports.

Excerpted from the winter 2016 issue of AMTA's Massage Therapy Journal.

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