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Yvonne Fey started giving massages to her hurting father and hockey-star son over 15 years ago. This summer, she gave massages to United States gold medal winners of various events in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Facilities.
Mrs. Fey, of Perrysburg, owner and director of Body and Sole Massage Therapy and Reflexology Center, has worked with athletes throughout her 15 years of being a massage therapist. In July, she volunteered at the Olympic facilities for a two-week sports-medicine rotation. Now, she waits to find out if she'll be going to Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February.
She has Olympic experience by working on the international team in Salt Lake City, where she gave massages to athletes in the 2002 Winter games. She also has photos with former Pittsburgh Penguins hockey star Jaromir Jagr, and Bowling Green gold medalist figure skater Scott Hamilton.
Oh yea, the Olympic village?
"Way, way cool," Mrs. Fey said. "They have night clubs there, DJs. I got to meet athletes from all over the world and their different costumes. It was a party at times."
There are three possible ways she could go to Sochi. One is once again on the international team, which she has applied for. Another to go is have specific athlete want to take her to work with him or her. Or, be selected by the U.S. Olympic Training committee, which has already done background checks and will be doing a Skype interview with Mrs. Fey.
She hopes to be picked by specific athletes. Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, U.S. pair skaters, hit it off with Mrs. Fey in Colorado and could bring her.
"I did a type of massage with Caydee that I'm introducing and told her 'you will feel lighter during practice and tell John not to throw you as far because you will be wobbly until you realize it,'" Mrs. Fey said. "She came back excited 'I did feel lighter and had more energy.'"
The massage was an abdominal massage where she works on the athlete's belly -- she said she is one of only three or four therapists in Ohio who is certified to work on the belly.
Her favorite athletes to work on? She said she had the most fun with the Paralympics athletes because they have good attitudes even with disabilities. She added, "Everyone should take a page from them."
Mrs. Fey said she is like a proud mother watching the athletes she's worked on perform at peak ability. She sent a letter to former Toledo Mud Hens pitcher Colby Lewis, whom she worked with extensively in Toledo, after he pitched and won the World Series a few years ago for the Texas Rangers.
"It is so satisfying to be a part of [it]," she said. "I can't describe what it means. You keep track of who you worked on and there are many gold medal winners."
By November or December, Mrs. Fey is hoping she will find out whether she will be able to attend the Winter Olympics.
She wants to go to Rio Summer Olympics in 2016, too. But until February, when she might take a few week vacation to work on world-class athletes, she will continue to work with trauma victims, sports massages, and everything else she does day-to-day in Perrysburg. Her shop is at 214 Louisiana Ave.