Doctor From Miami Preparing for 2016 Rio Olympics - NBC 6 South Florida

Doctor From Miami Preparing for 2016 Rio Olympics

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    Doctor from Miami Preparing For 2016 Rio Olympics

    NBC 6's Adam Kuperstein brings the story of a doctor from the University of Miami, who will have quite the visit to Rio for the Olympics (Published Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016)

    Dr. Carolyn Kienstra is about to live out her Olympic dream.

    The sports medicine physician from the University of Miami Health System is part of a large group of U-Health doctors selected to work the Rio Olympics. And while that's a significant honor, it's not what makes her story so special.

    Call it serendipity, or maybe just good fortune...Dr. Kienstra grew up as the biggest gymnastics fan. And guess which event she'll be working in Rio?

    "I said, 'gymnastics?'" Dr. Kienstra recalled the phone conversation when she found out about her assignment in Brazil. "It was pretty exciting to say the least."

    Dr. Kienstra has been following Olympic gymnastics since age nine. And now she'll be on-call at every practice session and competition in Rio.

    "You're there for work, you have a job," Dr. Kienstra explained. "But to have an opportunity to be a part of something like that, it's such an amazing thing."

    To understand how obsessed Dr. Kienstra was with gymnastics as a child, you need to see the big box of memorabilia her mom recently sent her from St. Louis.

    Inside, she has posters, a Wheaties Box from the 1996 Gold Medal team, a USA Gymnastics Cabbage Patch doll, and a replica USA warmup jacket, among other things. But her most prized possession is an old VHS tape from the 1992 Olympics that Carolyn and her sister watched over and over again.

    "Literally my parents thought we would wear it out," Dr. Kienstra said. "We had all the commentary memorized, we knew the exact commercials in between the last routine and the medal ceremony."

    Making her Olympic assignment even sweeter, Dr. Kienstra is still a huge gymnastics fan today.

    "I've probably seen part of every national championship and Olympic gymnastics event, at least some coverage, for the last 24 years now."

    Even as an adult, Dr. Kienstra says she tears up watching classic moments from Olympics gymnastics history because they bring back memories.

    And now, she gets to add new ones, from a much closer view.