An Adjustment Like No Other: KDMC Chiropractor Bill Nichols Returns from Assisting U.S. Paralympic Team in Tokyo



Tiffany Jobe, Editor

The Ashland Beacon

   “You know how you see the closing Olympic Ceremonies on TV, and you see the fireworks and the huge stadium, and it’s exciting and everyone’s happy? It’s just like that in real life. To be in the middle of the Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremonies, it was the most epic part of being part of the Olympics.”

   That is how KDMC’s Chiropractor, Dr. Bill Nichols, summed up his favorite moment in Tokyo this past summer to serve as one of the specially selected 16 medical care providers for the United States Paralympic Team.

   The Paralympics involves athletes with physical disabilities. It began in 1948 and has grown to have thousands of athletes from around the world competing in a total of 28 events.

   Nichols has an extensive background in the medical field; he was a Nurse before coming a Chiropractor of 21 years now. He holds numerous certifications in Sports Medicine, so Nichols began working with local schools as the Sports Medicine provider for their teams, including Marshall University. It was there that he was encouraged to begin the process to get approved to provide medical service for Olympic teams. “I began the process to get approved, and then began a volunteer rotation, kind of like an on-the-job interview. They only ask certain people back, and that’s when I started rotations with different Para-Olympic teams in Colorado Springs, Chulavista, CA, and Lake Placid, New York. I also got to work with the Bobsled and Skeleton teams at the North American Cup in Lake Placid.”

   “The committee started talking about the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and then COVID happened and pushed it back for 2021. I was really looking forward to it but wanted everyone to be safe. I was chosen as one of the medical care providers for the Olympic village in Tokyo and was there about 2 ½ weeks. I covered all the sports, but wheelchair tennis was my favorite. I remember standing in the hall waiting to go out on the floor. Russia was on one side, and we were on the other. To me it was amazing. I love being part of the medical team for the Paralympics because it’s not just treating the common injuries, it’s also treating the injuries that the sport creates, such as athletes having sores from being in the wheelchair itself,” said Nichols.

   “Athletes we have worked with for many years have worked hard to be able to compete at the top of their sport. We are all sharing something positive in sport even with differences. It’s a nice change to what we see in life. It’s refreshing to be a part of this,” he shared.

   Nichols was in private practice for 21 years before joining the KDMC team. He credits their mission of “stronger together” for his return to the hospital, not as a nurse this time, but as a Chiropractor who is an integral part of the Sports Medicine program at KDMC. The King’s Daughters Sports Medicine team is comprised of people from different areas who all have the same goal of treating and preventing athletic injuries – sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, athletic trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists and more.

   “Having one of our medical staff serve as lead physician for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo speaks pretty highly of Bill’s hard work, knowledge and expertise. All of us at King’s Daughters are incredibly proud of him and his dedication to athletes at all levels of competition, from the high school kid all the way up to the elite athlete at the top of their sport.”  Said Ryan Ison, Vice President of Integrated Practices at KDMC.

   “We bring together so many skillsets to work together. One of the main reasons I wanted to join KDMC was because of their goal to work collectively better for the patient or athlete. They are willing to think outside the box as to what’s best. It doesn’t matter which profession in the hospital it is, everyone comes together as a whole. This is more about trying to find the root of the problem and treat the cause.  Polly Hunt and Ryan Ison do a great job overseeing the program. Dr. Leon Briggs and Kristie Whitlatch have done such a great job in support of the orthopedics and sports medicine department.” Said Nichols.

   “I am very lucky.  I am humbled to have been chosen to do things. God has been good to me.”