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Islander thrilled to head to Pyeongchang as physiotherapist for medal-contending athletes

.E.I. native John Flood, right, poses with Alex Harvey after Harvey won gold in a skate sprint race in Quebec City last year during the World Cup Finals. Flood, a physiotherapist working in Montreal, will be in Harvey's corner this month at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  ©THE GUARDIAN
.E.I. native John Flood, right, poses with Alex Harvey after Harvey won gold in a skate sprint race in Quebec City last year during the World Cup Finals. Flood, a physiotherapist working in Montreal, will be in Harvey's corner this month at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. ©THE GUARDIAN - Submitted

Physiotherapist John Flood is ready to set up shop at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The P.E.I. native left Friday for the Olympic venue to work with three Canadian medal hopefuls, who will be competing on the world’s top sport stage.

Flood, 37, says going to the Olympics in a supporting role has long been a pipe dream that he never thought would come true.

So, counting down the days for dream to become reality has been a pleasantly dizzying sensation for the son of Allan and Virginia Flood of Charlottetown.

“The past two and a half weeks have been pretty giddy,’’ he says.

“It’s hard to go to sleep at night because I’m really excited to go.’’

Flood feels confident he will be part of a team behind the scenes that brings home at least one medal, but hopefully more.

The athletes he will be working on to keep limber and loose for competition have rather impressive records.

One is Alex Harvey, the most successful Canadian cross-country skier in history outside of the Olympic Games. He is a five-time medalist at the FIS World Championships and has more than 25 World Cup podiums in his career.

Flood works in Montreal for B2Ten, a privately funded group that provides training and preparation services to elite amateur athletes. He has been working with Harvey for the past four years and has put in many hours at competitions and training camps making sure Harvey’s hips and back are moving well.

“I have a lot of different tools in my tool belt,’’ he says.

“I’ve been there when he’s crossed the line and podiums. It’s an unbelievable feeling for me.’’

Flood has also been working with three-time world champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir since the summer, and he will be ready rinkside to provide any needed physiotherapy on the pair, who has been selected to be Canada’s Olympic flag bearers.

“I really quickly developed a really good relationship with them,’’ he says.

“They are really easy to get along with…they tell me they are completely confident in me.’’

Flood was immersed in sport growing up on P.E.I., playing hockey, soccer, baseball and rugby, as well as tennis, golf and skiing for recreational enjoyment.

Now his job is to help other athletes compete at the top of their game.

He welcomes the opportunity to assist three top athletes at the Olympics.

“I’m not nervous,’’ he says.

“I’m excited to get started…I know what my job is.’’

In addition to keeping a close eye on Harvey as well as Virtue and Moir, Flood notes he would like to watch some other events just because he is “a fan.’’

In particular, he hopes to have the opportunity to cheer fellow P.E.I. native Heather Moyse - the double Olympic gold medalist from Summerside – as she tries to once again reach the podium, this time pushing rookie bobsledder Alysia Rissling.

“If I’m free, I’m definitely going to go watch her race,’’ says Flood.

“I’m going to be pretty busy when I’m there.’’

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