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Federal Way chiropractor keeping Seahawks in top shape for Super Bowl
Jim Kurtz is the envy of every rabid Seattle Seahawks fan.
Kurtz will literally have the best seats in the house Sunday afternoon when the Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Kurtz has been working as the Seattle team's chiropractor for the last three seasons and will be standing on the sidelines Super Bowl Sunday.
Kurtz is the clinic director at NW Sports Rehab in Federal Way. The Super Bowl kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Kurtz and the Seahawks earned the trip with an exciting 23-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship in front of a raucous crowd at CenturyLink Field in Seattle Jan. 19.
"It was unbelievable," Kurtz said of the win over the 49ers. "The energy in that stadium was just 10 notches above what it normally is and normally, it's crazy. It really hasn't sunk in yet. I had to pinch myself to know that we are going to the Super Bowl."
Kurtz and the rest of the Seahawks players, coaches and staff travelled to New Jersey Sunday. He will be taking part in all the Super Bowl festivities this week.
Kurtz has had plenty of experience working with some of the best athletes in the world. During his distinguished career, he has been a member of the sports medicine staff of the PGA Tour, and was the first chiropractor ever selected by the United States Olympic Committee to an international Paralympic event. He was Team USA’s chiropractor at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and worked three seasons with the Seattle Sounders FC.
But, he says nothing has compared to working with the Seahawks this season.
"I always thought the biggest thing I was going to do was march in the opening ceremonies at the Olympics for Team USA," Kurtz said. "But the Super Bowl and this season have topped that. Hearing the fans screaming, I don't think anything can top that."
Following the win over the 49ers, Kurtz spotted his wife and son in the south end zone of CenturyLink Field and started waving at them.
"The other people in the end zone thought that I was waving at them," Kurtz said. "They called me over and started hugging and giving me high fives. I felt like a rock star. I probably have high fives to 200 to 300 people and I thought to myself that I can't run around this whole stadium."
According to Kurtz, the atmosphere around this year's Seahawks team is one of competition, which is something that is preached by head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
"They have done such an amazing job putting this team together," Kurtz said. "Everybody competes. Pete (Carroll) comes to me every offseason and asks me what I have learned. He tells me that they have gotten a lot of résumés from chiropractors who say they can do a better job. That is what makes this team so special. We have one of the more progressive and advanced medical groups in the entire NFL."
Kurtz is very proud of the work he and the entire Seahawks medical staff have done this season in keeping the players healthy. Entering the Super Bowl, every player on the team's roster is available to play against the Broncos, which is something that is rare in today's hard-hitting NFL.
"We can't take all the credit for it," he said. "But it's pretty amazing. We have been teaching them for three or four seasons how important it is to do the maintenance work and this season it really paid off. It's very cool because we have a very progressive training staff."
Kurtz’s schedule with the Seahawks includes a full day every Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Renton and traveling with the team every Saturday and Sunday, home or away.
As the team’s chiropractor, Kurtz “adjusts” players depending on their needs, but also does a lot of muscle work. Kurtz said he is in awe every day about the amount of punishment the players’ bodies take during the course of a practice, game and season.
Obviously, Kurtz is confident that the Seahawks will walk away from MetLife Stadium Sunday as Super Bowl champions.
"I think our chances are good," Kurtz said. "I'm feeling pretty good that we will beat these Broncos and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Federal Way."