After over 20 years in the sports medicine industry, I am still excited about the ability to impact my athletes and clients. My dream has been to go the Olympics for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I recall staying up late to watch athletes from all over the world compete in their respective sports. I did not understand the rules for each competition, I just marveled at how they could accomplish what seemed to be impossible. I began to study how people moved as early as second grade. “It is rude to stare,” was something that I heard often. The problem was trying to turn off my analytical brain, as I worked so hard to dissect every part of any movement that caught my attention.
As a biology major and student athlete at Clark Atlanta University, I had the opportunity to observe the city of Atlanta prepare for the 1996 Olympic Games. The entire city was like an Olympic showcase, the logos were everywhere, contests on every radio and TV station and people were even more friendly than usual. My friends and I swapped money with tourists from all over the world. The most exciting part were the front-row finish line seats that I got to track and field. I got to see some of my favorite athletes in the world. Inspired by a feature story on the jobs that were behind the Olympic team, I decided on my future career in sports medicine. Two years later I found myself as a graduate student at Life University, one of the biggest chiropractic schools in the country. As an athlete I always dreamed I would be competing in the Olympics, but my dream found new life an athletic trainer.
Ten years into my career after working at the high school level, Division I athletics, the WNBA and as a business owner, I found myself at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Col. During my internship, I got the chance to work with several sports teams including U.S. Paralympic swimming and the modern pentathlon. It was during this trip I was introduced to the art of kinesiology tape. The staff clinicians applied what seemed like magical tape to knees, ankles, shoulders and so many other places.
I spent every day studying the purpose and technique of the application of the special tape. It wasn’t the first time I had seen it, but it was one of those things that was used in clinics and not on the field. My motto over the years has been, “If I can tape it, I will!” I could not wait to use it on my athletes back home. Anytime I got a roll of tape kinesiology tape or even a sample I would find some way to use it.
It is now 2021 and I find myself as a medical provider with Team USA. I have worked with USATF youth, recreational and the professional runners for the last 10 years. KT Tape has been with me the entire time. The ease of use and self-application of the KT Tape brand tape enables athletes to use products when I am not with them. The adhesive is much stronger and more reliable when they need it most.
— Erin E. Hassler, DAT, MS, ATC, LAT, PES