Imagine getting sideline seats to your favorite sporting event only to watch the No. 1 player go down in the first minutes of play. When the crowd clears, you sadly see him limp to the bench with the help of teammates. For physical therapist Jordan Tingson, DPT ’19, he not only witnesses these situations live, he is also the one who helps rehabilitate athletes so they can return to the game.
Since graduating from the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the George Washington University (GW), Tingson, who grew up in Guam, has been working with the Guam National basketball team. “I have always been drawn to the athletic population because it requires a unique rehabilitation approach and a psychological aspect to get them back to competing at their highest level,” Tingson said.
As a child, Tingson was first introduced to physical therapy (PT) through his mother, who is also a PT. Soon after his graduation from GW, Tingson, his mother, and others assembled a medical team to support Guam’s athletes. Tingson now works alongside the Guam National Olympic Committee (GNOC) as a member of the Guam Medical and Anti-Doping Commission. “This opportunity helped me to get my foot in the door and be part of a team that ensures all the athletes can get back to doing what they love the most,” he said.
Since joining the commission, Tingson has experienced many amazing opportunities. Most recently, he served as a physiotherapist in the Pacific Games 2019 in Samoa, which is the largest Olympic qualifier for most countries that attend. He also attended the FIBA Oceania U17 Championships in New Caledonia, where he accompanied Guam’s U17 men’s basketball team as an assistant coach. “We were undersized and a young team, but we were able to pull through and really show our skill,” Tingson recalled.
Working and traveling with the national team gives him an advantage when developing an athlete’s treatment. He said the opportunity enables him to see the athlete’s biomechanics and witness the exact mechanisms that caused the injury, allowing him to tailor specific programs to expedite the athlete’s recovery. Tingson said that reflection on the injury and his treatment plan is a major aspect of his care. “My time at GW really helped me to create my definition of success and be able to recognize areas in which I can improve to get the athlete back to their sport sooner.”
When asked about his goals for the future, Tingson said he hopes to hold an injury prevention course within the Guam’s Olympic Committee. “The most amazing piece of equipment is the human body, and I want to be able to provide everyone with the education to maintain it in the best way possible,” he said.