UConn alumnus and chiropractor Norman Eng ’99 (BUS) is thrilled to be a part of Team USA Track & Field, as he accompanies them to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
We’re here to support [the athletes] in their lifelong dream. It’s like watching a son or daughter perform. — Norman Eng
He’s a member of the medical team that supports some of the finest athletes in the world, including sprinters Allyson Felix, Justin Gatlin, and Trayvon Bromell. The Olympics won’t be a vacation – Eng will be working 15-hour days, going back and forth between the on-site clinic and the practice track. But he loves every minute of it, as his job is a perfect marriage of his two main loves: sports and helping people.
“One of the things I’m really excited for are the athletes performing and bringing home some medals on the biggest stage in the world,” says Eng. “This is something they’ve prepared for their entire lives. We’re here to support them in their lifelong dream. It’s like watching a son or daughter perform, because we have so much interaction with them.”
Eng, a native of Vernon, Conn. who now resides in Atlanta, Ga., began his journey at UConn, where he graduated in 1999 with a degree in finance.
“The UConn experience really helped shape the idea of hard work and perseverance,” says Eng. “UConn gave me the tools to help me in any profession.”
He started his career with an internet company in Bloomfield, Conn. In 2001, however, he wanted to shift careers, and decided to study the practices of chiropractic medicine. He graduated with a doctor of chiropractic degree in 2007.
“I couldn’t sit in front of a desk anymore,” Eng says. “I’ve always been a very active person and enjoyed physical fitness. I also wanted to do something that would help people, and would allow me to utilize my passion for exercise and health.”
Soon after, Eng was asked by his friend and now business partner to volunteer at Team USA Track & Field events. Eng agreed and volunteered several times, traveling to Eugene, Ore., to provide chiropractic treatment for athletes at events. He became more involved with Team USA, accompanying the team overseas to the Indoor and Outdoor World Championships in 2014 and 2015.
“It sounds cliché, but it was quite the honor and still is quite the honor,” he says. “I wake up every morning and can’t believe I have the privilege of representing the United States and the chiropractic profession in track and field.”
For Eng, his job is not only about keeping the athletes in top physical condition, but also providing a helping hand in any way he can.
“The way we describe our team here is ‘we are one team,’” he says. “If an athlete needs a pat on the shoulder or a hug, we’re there to help them in any way, whether it be chiropractic treatment or getting them a towel. Being there for them is the number one thing.”
With track and field events slated to start on Aug. 12 in Rio, Eng says everyone on the team is ready for the competition.
“We have all of our athletes going in nice and healthy,” he says. “We just want to go out and show the world the talents of the United States Track & Field team. There’s a lot of wait time and anticipation, but once that time comes, we know that it’s go time and we’ll be ready to go.
“All the athletes for the track team are very excited to go,” he adds. “There’s been a lot of negative press about Rio, but they’re here to do a job, and their job is to bring home medals for the United States.”
You can follow Eng’s Olympic experiences on his Instagram account at @dorneng.