Therapist heads to the Paralympics

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Monica Bascio
Monica Bascio

When top athletes arrive in Sochi, Russia, for the Paralympic Games next month, at least one long-term care professional will be representing the Stars and Stripes. Monica Bascio, an occupational therapist at Life Care Center of Evergreen, is on the U.S. cross-country ski team.

Bascio began working at the 120-bed facility in Evergreen, CO, in 2003. In the last 10 years, she not only has served as an inspiring therapist but also has had incredible athletic success. She competed as a Nordic skier in the 2006 games in Turin and the 2010 games in Vancouver. She also went to London for the summer games in 2012, where she won a pair of silver medals for handcycling. Bascio, now in her 40s, will compete against athletes two decades her junior in Sochi.

Paralyzed from the waist down in a ski accident 22 years ago, her own experience in therapy inspired her career choice. She says that when patients find out about her accomplishments — usually after being told by one of her coworkers — she is happy to use it as an opportunity to educate them “about what disability can be about.”

Her experience also helps her formulate her focus on shoulder and core strength, she says.

Bascio is grateful for the support she gets at Evergreen. Being able to be a therapist and top athlete “rounds out my life,” she says.



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