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Dustin Williams Named Olympic Athletic Trainer

A pale man in a blue, gray, and white shirt sitting on an athletic training table smiles.
Photo by Megan Mulliner

Dustin Williams loved sitting at the front of the ambulance when he was young. The flashing lights and loud siren would have impressed any kid, but seeing his volunteer EMT parents help people in need kickstarted a medical dream that led to Williams studying sports medicine in college. Now, in addition to teaching courses in the Exercise Sciences Department and working with BYU's cross country and track and field teams, Williams has been selected for the Team USA Olympic medical staff as the track and field co-head athletic trainer for the 2024 Olympic Games.

This isn’t Williams' first brush with the Olympics. After obtaining his master's degree from Utah State, Williams was hired for a one-year fellowship position with the US Olympic Committee in Lake Placid, New York. This experience led him to work on the 2008 Paralympic medical staff and the past three summer Olympics as an athletic trainer. Each Olympics he's experienced has been unique and awe-inspiring. Williams is deeply honored for the opportunities he's had to represent his country and help the United States of America's best athletes achieve their Olympic dreams. His most memorable experience was having the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics with his wife, Jill, when she was representing Team USA in the shot-put event.

In his new role as co-head athletic trainer, Williams will oversee 15 medical professionals made up of athletic trainers, physicians, massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, sports psychologists, and sports dietitians. He will also work within Team USA’s village, where athlete’s stay during the games, and at the stadium to coordinate coverage throughout the games. “If an athlete has a medical issue, it is our responsibility to coordinate care with the Chief of Sports Medicine in the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and communicate with the team leader and coaching staff of Team USA,” Williams shared.

A pale white man holds a yellow exercise ball while a woman in a blue shirt lays down to stretch
Photo by Tanner Frost

Williams will also work directly with the athletes each day. He will assist with soft tissue injuries or other medical concerns in preparation for competition. Williams will begin his work in this role once the team is officially formed after the Olympic Trials in June.

A pale man in a white shirt watches as a woman wearing a blue shirt tests her balance on a blue workout ball.
Photo by Tanner Frost

This summer marks the first time Team USA will have co-head athletic trainers; Williams has held this position alone during the past two Summer Olympics. “I am excited to share the responsibility with another athletic trainer, so we can hopefully be more effective in taking care of the needs of the athletes and assisting the medical staff as well,” enthused Williams. “I am also excited to coordinate and work with so many healthcare professionals on one team. It really is the dream team of healthcare providers.”

In addition to the Olympics, Williams has also served as medical service chair for USA Track & Field for the last 11 years. In this position, Williams oversees the medical equipment, staffing, and logistics for all the USATF international teams and USA Championships and Olympic Trials. He also participates in the committee that establishes the policies and standards of care for the team.

Williams feels that teaching at BYU has provided him with a strong platform to share his experiences with students and encourage their career growth. “Teaching Introduction to Athletic Training in the Exercise Science Department, has helped me to share experiences with students on how athletic trainers help athletes on various levels, especially at the collegiate and Olympic levels,” Williams reflected. “I enjoy answering questions and introducing the students to professionals from my career that may help them to decide on a career as a healthcare professional.”

To follow Williams and other Team USA athletes, watch the upcoming Summer Olympics this July.

A pale man in a white shirt smiles while sitting on an elliptical.
Photo by Megan Mulliner