Mayo Clinic physician to lead US men’s ice hockey medical staff at Winter Olympics in Beijing

(ABC 6 News) – A Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon, will be the team physician for the U.S. men’s ice hockey team at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The games will be held from Feb. 3–20.

Michael J. Stuart, M.D., will oversee the medical care for all players and staff of Team USA. Dr. Stuart will work with USA Hockey athletic trainers and attend practices, team meetings, doping control testing, and games, to ensure the team stays healthy and ready for competition amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He will also work in the medical clinic of the U.S. Coalition for the Prevention of Illness and Injury in Sport to provide care to other Olympic athletes, as needed.

"The health and safety of players and staff are always paramount, but even more so during the pandemic," Dr. Stuart says. "We’re following all the COVID-19 precautions and requirements and are looking forward to getting on the ice."

The U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team opens play on Feb. 10 against host China in the first preliminary round game.

"It’s obviously an honor to represent our country. And it’s a special opportunity for me to be part of a team, We really do work very closely together. We help each other out. And so I interface on a daily basis, not only with the athletic trainers, but also with our equipment managers, our coaches and, of course, our players, as well as the entire USOPC medical team," says Dr. Stuart.

Dr. Stuart’s roots in the hockey and sports community run deep. He is the chief medical and safety officer for USA Hockey, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s medical committee, and president of the Rochester Mustangs sled hockey team. He is also former co-director of Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.

This is Dr. Stuart’s fourth turn as team physician of the U.S. Olympic Games’ men’s ice hockey squad. Previously, he served at the 1994, 2010, and 2014 Olympic Games.