Dr. Bret Moldenhauer treats a patient at his Market Street office
Olympian Dee Dee Trotter
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Only eleven days remain until the 2012 Olympic games.
Athletes from 50 countries made their way to London Monday, including the majority of Team USA.
It will be a few more days before one local doctor heads that way.
Dr. Bret Moldenhauer, who practices at the Institute for Acupuncture & Wellness, once dreamed of competing. Now he's hoping to help one of his patients take the gold.
Moldenhauer attempted to qualify in Tae Kwan Do, twice.
He never imagined acupuncture would take him to the games.
"I thought I was going up to see a UT Lady Vol," recalled Moldenhauer, remembering how the journey began, "well she was, but she wasn't still on the team."
Moldenhauer found himself treating world class runner and Olympian, Dee Dee Trotter.
He treated trotter for more than year, and with great success.
"We took an acupuncture table to the track," he said, remembering the moment Trotter realized he was an insurance policy for her trip to the games.
"She comes darting over, nostrils flaring, sweaty body, whole body is heaving, and she practically breaks the table jumping on the side of it," he said.
"She got up off the table and lifted both knees up and said 'it's gone'," he said, "she dusted off the rest of her 200 meter sprints."
Other runners, and Trotter's training staff, took note.
"Single handedly because of Dee Dee I had five athletes running in the Olympic trials," said Moldenhauer.
Moldenhauer watched from home a Trotter qualified for the 2012 games. It's a moment he'll never forget, because he believes acupuncture helped make it possible.
"She'd get about 200 meters and get about 250 - 300 meters," he said, reliving the moment he watched unfold on his television from Chattanooga.
He knew then his ticket was finally punched.
While he won't be competing, he says doing what he loves and helping Trotter succeed is just as sweet as winning the gold.
"I know that what I do matters," he said proudly.
Some 16,000 athletes are due to arrive in London over the next couple of days.
Dr. Moldenhauer leaves next week, in time for the opening ceremonies. He's be staying in the Olympic Village with full access to the games. He hopes this is just the beginning. He says he hopes to make contacts while he's there, to grow his acupuncture business.