Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine assistant professor of physiology Santiago Lorenzo, Ph.D. has a keen eye on this year’s Olympic Games.
|LECOM faculty member Santiago Lorenzo’s Olympic photo.|
Just eight years ago, Dr. Lorenzo marched into Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece as a member of Argentina’s Track and Field delegation. Dr. Lorenzo represented his home country in the decathlon, placing 24th overall, but winning the 1500-meter leg of what many consider the Olympics’ ultimate test.
|Dr. Lorenzo long jumps during the 2004 Olympic decathlon in Athens, Greece.|
“It was a dream to walk into that stadium and represent your country,” says Dr. Lorenzo, who joined LECOM’s Bradenton, Fla. faculty in July. “It was even more special to win a leg of the Olympic decathlon.”
It takes a special kind of athlete to compete in the grueling decathlon, 10 different track events over a two-day period.
“Decathletes are the first to the track and the last ones to leave,” says Lorenzo. “It takes years of training to learn all the disciplines. You also have to have the mental maturity in order to be successful.”
Lorenzo, 34, comes from a family of Olympians. His father, Gerardo, was a field hockey player for Team Argentina during the 1968 Games in Mexico City and 1972 Games in Munich, Germany.
Lorenzo began his athletic career in field hockey before switching to track and field at age 14. At age 16, he participated in his first decathlon at the South American Under-16 Track and Field trials. He attended college at perennial track powerhouse the University of Oregon from 1999-2003 and fulfilled his Olympic dream in 2004.
“At the time when I went to the Olympics it was about taking care of business, it was not a vacation by any means,” he says. “You have to stay focused. The only things I saw when I got to Athens were my room and the Olympic Stadium.
“After a few years have gone by, I’m like ‘wow!’ I did compete in the Olympics in front of 75,000 people. That’s quite an accomplishment.”
Now he’ll set his sights on another quest: training LECOM students to become osteopathic physicians.
“To be able to have the opportunity to watch students learn and grow to become physicians is very rewarding,” Lorenzo says.
What’s the Decathlon?
Over two days, Olympic decathletes compete in the following events:
110-meter high hurdles