Article reposted from PilotTribune
Author: Craig Schultz
Storm Lake native, Aaron Brock, has been prepping for these past few weeks over the last 12 years. Brock is a certified athletic trainer for the U.S. Men’s Volleyball National Team, and has been in Rio for the last two weeks during the Olympics.
‘The last four years has been leading to this,” Brock said.
Brock became part of helping various U.S. teams in 2003 when he worked with the U.S. Water Polo team in the Pan American Games before also doing the 2004 Olympic Games. His name was brought up by the United States Olympic Committee soon thereafter as a possible candidate to work with the U.S. Men’s Volleyball program.
“It was a very exciting chance to take that job,” he stated.
In 2008, Brock was there in Bejing as the U.S. men took the gold medal. Then in 2009, he became the Director of Sports Medicine and Performance for the men’s and women’s teams. This entails having to lead a group of other professionals in the medical field to ensure that the athletes are in the best condition they can be.
In Rio though, Brock’s main focus has been helping with any possible injury to the players through the games. The road to Rio has been a four year journey for the team and himself.
“This is a real special thing. It’s special because of the time I’ve spent with the players and the coaches to get to this point,” he said.
“It’s fun to be here,” he added.
The final push for the U.S. Men’s Volleyball team has begun after making it past pool play which was a bit of a struggle, according to Brock. “This isn’t like some of the other sports here in Rio. We are in for the long haul. Gymnastics only go for like a day, we go from start to finish,” he said.
Before Brock became the Director of Sports Medicine and Performance, he was a four sport athlete for Storm Lake High School, playing football, basketball, track and baseball. “Those days were some of the days I look back at fondly,” he stated.
Brock also found himself having to move to California after getting the position for the U.S. Men’s Volleyball program. However, he never felt uncomfortable as running into fellow native Iowans has been a little commonplace for Brock.
“I’ll be at the beach and have a Hawkeyes shirt and people will just start yelling ‘Go Hawks’ at me. It feels like there is a family everywhere,” he said.
“Iowa is a special place. Storm Lake is an amazing place to live,” he added.
Brock comes back during the holidays to spend time with his family. All the memories of his childhood rush back. Yet, there is still a satisfaction with where he is now.
“There is no better display of pride than to help the United States try to win a goal medal,” he said.