Monica Rho, M.D., is director of RIC’s Women’s Sports Medicine Program and an assistant professor at RIC/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Rho is heading to the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Sept. 7–18, 2016) as Head Team Physician for the U.S. Men’s Paralympic National Soccer Team. The team includes 16 players with conditions such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury or stroke.
Dr. Rho is the first Head Team Physician to travel with the team. “It has been profoundly satisfying to meld the sports medicine side of me with the physiatrist side of me to provide the best care for these athletes,” said Dr. Rho. “I am looking forward to seeing each of these athletes on the soccer pitch playing to the height of their ability, knowing that I had some small part in helping their dreams of being a Paralympic athlete come true — and also knowing that I played a role in helping this team represent our country to the world.”
Coinciding with the Rio games, at the end of July, RIC hosted a Paralympic soccer clinic in partnership with the Northwestern University Women’s Soccer Team.
Although RIC often hosts sports events, this was the first clinic specifically for individuals with cerebral palsy, stroke or traumatic brain injury. “Athletes with these conditions often stop playing organized sports when they hit puberty due to lack of opportunity,” Dr. Rho explained.
"It’s so important to encourage patients to continue.”