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Aziz Zakari – Olympic Athlete Hamstring Recovery

Aziz was the top 100m sprinter for Ghana and the African Champion over both 100m and 200m. He had made it to the Olympic 100m track final, the pinnacle of the Olympics. Ghana is an underdeveloped nation and for many sprinting is a chance to start a more prosperous life; a free education at a US College, a career, and an income that they would not have had the opportunity gain. Every round that a sprinter progressed through the heats meant more sponsorship dollars, and that meant more to send home to your family to life a better life too. Simply making it to the 100m final gave Aziz the equivalent to the average Australian Salary, and the winner would earn millions of dollars. Aziz had a great start in the final, but he fell to the ground clutching his broken hamstring. At just the 35m mark the break destroyed the hope he had for his family. This wasn’t just a race, but a chance to help the ones he loved most dearly. He was devastated.

Scheduled to compete with his team mates in 4x100m relay in only 7 days time from his traumatic bread. Aziz had a second chance to make it, but this was a tough ask – you cannot be just ready 90% for sprint…

We worked together 4x/day for that week and within a few short days Aziz was back doing sprint drills. By 5th day he was able to sprint down the track without any symptoms. To get his performance up to par, we spent days 5 and 6 increasing his speed and acceleration, working out his best warm up routine to enable him to compete at the same level as before. By the end of day 6, he was just off his best time. On the day of the 4x100m relay, I helped him with his warm up routine. He was doing his run throughs easily without any signs of pain. He was pumped and ready to go for gold…

Unfortunately his team mate broke and they were disqualified. Aziz didn’t get to run that day, but he continued with his sprinting career. Eventually he competed in another 2 Olympics, making it to another 100m Olympic final and recording a sub-10 second 100m.

Aziz didn’t have time to fail. Hope was all he had burning through his blood that continued to push him through with Dr Loretta’s guidance. He could have given up any day, gone back to his family, and tried another career. He refused. Having a passion to get better and someone engaged with your recovery and tightly as Dr Loretta helped keep Aziz going as a sprinter. At Twelve9teen we still keep that same passion and tenacity that we had with Aziz to help in the recovery of your teen. Everyone deserves a chance.