BOZEMAN – When people watch the Olympics, it’s for the excitement, the national pride, and their favorite athletes. Viewers only see the competitors live or on a television screen, but not what makes these athletes so successful. One Montanan is at the center of the behind-the-scenes action.
Every Olympic athlete, from the newcomers to the veterans with medals draped around their necks, got to the peak of their sport not only because of their extremely hard work ethic and talent, but also with the help of their support system.
Brett Toresdahl, a Bozeman native, is a doctor on the US Biathlon team. The Gonzaga graduate traveled to Pyeongchange after the team chose him to be one of its official team doctors.
He is very familiar with the Olympics. Toresdahl worked as a volunteer physician at the Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and has even attended past Games to support friends competing.
Toresdahl attended one year of med school at Montana State and finished at the University of Washington before working at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Growing up, he always had a passion for sports and medicine, but he never thought combining those passions in the form of the Olympics would be in his future.
He established a relationship with the US Biathlon team and worked with them at last year’s World Championships where the U.S. took home gold and silver. That relationship continued to grow and they offered him a spot on their medical staff.
Toresdahl said his main goal is to keep the athletes healthy and help his athletes bring home gold.
The United States has yet to reach the podium, but there are still multiple biathlon events left.