London callingIf your phone is ringing, you had better answer. I can wait. You never know who it is or where the conversation might lead. Your life could be changed forever by that call.
By: Don Leighton, Superior Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by award-winning writers Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in the Superior Telegram.
If your phone is ringing, you had better answer. I can wait. You never know who it is or where the conversation might lead. Your life could be changed forever by that call. Suffice it to say, answer the phone!
Kim Moncel, of Superior, has been the head athletic trainer at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth for 14 years. How important are athletic trainers? Without them, many of the athletes who participate would not be able to perform. Without them, the sports we enjoy would be lessened.
Through her profession, Moncel has encountered and helped thousands of people; and because she is great at what she does, she has gained attention and been recognized by other professionals in athletic training.
In 2005, Moncel was minding her own business when her phone rang. A former student of hers at CSS, Joe Hoffer, was calling from Phoenix, Ariz. He was conducting a camp and asked if Moncel would come out and work as his athletic trainer. The camp was a USA Baseball Camp for 16-year-old boys. Her immediate reaction was, “Why not, this could be fun.”
She now realizes the importance of the decision.
“Going to help him in Phoenix was the best thing I did,” Moncel said. “It has opened up so many doors for me. I have been given so many great opportunities because of the people I met through USA baseball and that camp.”
Well, one thing led to another, and her resume now reads like a travel guide. In 2006, Moncel began working with the USA Women’s National Baseball Team as its athletic trainer.
The assignment took her to Taipei, Taiwan in 2006 for the World Cup; to Cary, N.C. in 2007 for the International Friendship Series; to Matsuyama, Japan in 2008 for the World Cup; and back to Cary, N.C. in 2009 and 2011 for the World Cup Training Camp and the International Friendship Series, respectively.
While serving as athletic trainer for the USA Women’s Baseball from 2006 to the present, Moncel has also served as head athletic trainer for Team USA Men’s and Women’s Handball, beginning in 2010. Her tenure with handball teams began with the opportunity to go to Venezuela; however, she blew out her own knee on the first day and went home.
Once she recovered, Moncel was back to her jet-setting ways.
In November 2010, she got the call to go to Cuba for a Pan Am qualifier, which also led to trips to Colorado Springs and Lake Placid in preparation for the 2011 Pan Am Games. In the winter of 2012, Moncel was in Guadalajara, Mexico with the Women’s Handball Team, and her journal shows a stop in Montevideo, Uruguay for the Women’s Beach Handball World cup qualifier during the winter of 2012.
CSS is very proud of Moncel and supports her globetrotting.
“I am very fortunate to work for an institution that is so supportive when these opportunities come up,” Moncel said. “CSS has always worked with me and made it possible for me to go and work with these teams. CSS is such a great place to work. I am so grateful to have a job I love at a college that encourages their employees to seek out opportunities for professional growth.”
Recently, Moncel learned of yet another opportunity when she got an e-mail notifying her that she’d been selected to go on another trip beginning on July 15. Her next stop will be in London for the Summer Olympics, where she will ply her trade for the United States Olympic Team.
“Going to London to work at the 2012 Summer Olympics is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Moncel said. “I am so honored to have been invited to work with Team USA and I’m very excited to have been given the opportunity to experience the Olympics firsthand. I will be working in the USA’s High Performance Clinic, which is a separate area designated for U.S. athletes to practice and prep for competition, and I will be assigned event coverage as needed.”
The teams for which Moncel has served as athletic trainer so far have been successful.
In 2006, her Women’s National Baseball Team won the gold medal at the World Cup in Taiwan. In 2008, the team won the silver medal in Japan. Her knee injury kept her from going to Venezuela in 2010 when the team brought home the bronze.
Her memories of the gold medal ceremony in 2006 will remain with her forever.
“The most amazing moment I have experienced is when the USA Women’s National Baseball Team won the gold medal at the 2006 World Cup in Taiwan and standing there watching them receive their medals,” Moncel said. “Seeing the American flag being raised and hearing the national anthem being played in a foreign country was very emotional and something that is hard to describe. I have never experienced anything else like it.”
After graduation for Superior High School in 1986, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study in college. She remembers what steered her into athletic training.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to study when I started college, but I loved sports and science when I got to Texas Lutheran College,” Moncel said. “As a freshman, I was lucky to meet the head athletic trainer, Jeff Russell, and he told me about the athletic training program.”
Years later, Moncel has become one of the elite athletic trainers in America and is headed to the Olympics.
Aren’t you glad Joe Hoffer called you in 2005? Aren’t you glad you answered your phone? I couldn’t have written this article about a truly gifted person unless you had. Thank you.
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