Bennington orthopedist hopes to make US Olympic Team slot

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 4:48 PM EST
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BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A sports medicine physician in Bennington has something in common with the best athletes in the world -- she has a chance of making it to the Olympics.

Orthopedist Dr. Ivette Guttmann at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is gearing up for a month-long audition that could land her a role as a volunteer physician for Team USA. “This is a very exciting opportunity for me to be a part of,” Guttmann said.

The journey to get to the games will be a long one. As a first step, Guttmann will serve as a lead physician in January at the 2023 FISU World University Games in Lake Placid. “After that, I’m going to be going to Colorado Springs. And what I’m going to do there is help with some of the Olympic athletes that are currently training. If they get any type of injuries or need, you know, any kind of medical treatment,” she said.

From there, Guttmann has a chance to be chosen to serve as a team physician and travel with the athletes to an upcoming games. “I’m very much looking forward to the challenge and not so much the injuries,” Guttmann said. She says she is dedicated to medicine but says her true love has always been sports. “I don’t know how to live without sports.”

Guttmann is a record-setting former quarterback for the Independent Women’s Football League. She is one of only eight quarterbacks in the history of professional football to have thrown seven touchdown passes in a single game back in 2004. Since then, only Peyton Manning, Nick Foles, and Drew Brees have repeated the feat.

“It is a calling, it is part of me. If I’m not playing it, I am watching it. I am trying to help athletes when they can play in it and I am trying to inspire,” Guttmann said.

Guttman says her ability to understand what her patients are going through allows her to connect with them on a deeper level. “I just want them to know I get it. I was there and I get it and they will be able to get over this,” she said.

If chosen as a Team USA physician, Guttmann will be on a 4-year cycle, which will include either the 2024 Paris winter games or the 2026 Milan Cortina summer games.

“I was never able to reach the Olympics, athletically. But if I can do that in my professional career, I think that I will live vicariously through them and really have a great experience to talk about for a long time to come and bring back to the community,” Guttmann said.

But at the end of the day, selected or not, Guttman says what she wants most is to be an inspiration and make her community proud.