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Meet new FC Coach Santiago Casanova



I decided to become a Physical Therapist after a High School visit to Northern Arizona University. It was a creepy visit involving the dissection and digging into different body parts and structures of a real human cadaver, which I found really interesting at the time. Since that visit, I've loved going into surgeries, and observing and learning the repairing mechanics of a surgery; it is this, in my opinion, that best allows PT’s to understand the approach to a post-surgery rehab and training protocol.
After finishing my University studies in 2004, and not feeling completely satisfied with the type and style of PT work I was surrounded by, I decided to make the move to Berlin, Germany to develop my German language skills, and observe and soak in a different style of working. After Berlin, came Phoenix, Arizona for another exciting and enlightening stage of learning in a combined field of Physical Therapy and athletic performance at the Fischer Sports Institute (http://fischerinstitute.com/). Here is where the love for athletics, sports and fitness came in to merge with my passion for Physical Therapy.
The first domino to fall in the string of professional sporting events I’ve been involved in, happened by simply being at the right place at the right time. The year was 2006, back in my hometown of Valencia, Spain, where the America’s Cup of sailing (https://www.americascup.com/) would be taking place in the summer of ’07. So, after some door-knocking, one of the teams (French team AREVA) showed some faith in my enthusiasm and had me in for a trial period. I made damn sure it all worked out, and that all bases were covered, and that edition of the race led to the beginning of second America’s Cup with Team Germany.
After being with the top coastal racers out there in the sailing world, I decided to aim for the next big event, and that was the Round the World Volvo Ocean Race (http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwztm1vAGL0)). Aside from joining the most challenging oceanic sailing competition, I had a big drive to see the world and travel, and this race permitted all of the above, as it takes about a year and a half to prepare and train for, and then 9 months to complete, turning it into a two and-a-half year campaign, flying to over a dozen countries around the world. In 2008 I joined American team PUMA Ocean Racing who finished 2nd place, then in 2010 I relocated to Lorient, France to join French team Groupama Sailing Team who won the race, and most recently in 2012 joined Swedish all-female Team SCA, having our training base in Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
In between these sailing contracts I also found time to fit in some very rewarding, challenging, unique and different sports such as the Dakar Rally (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIRroW0dpJA), and ATP Tennis. The Dakar Rally is uniquely tough, because you are out there in the elements with the race, sleeping in tents, you’re sleep deprived and on shifts around the clock, as drivers finish and start Legs at different times of the day, and all have issues of certain urgency that need handled appropriately upon arrival, or before heading out on the stage. It’s a great working environment being surrounded by over 50 medical team members, a lot of support on all fronts to cover the needs of nearly 500 competitors, over 14 days straight.
I love most sports, and really have an appreciation and respect for an athlete’s battles and efforts during training (phase 1), competition (phase 2), and post-game (phase 3). That’s why I like being involved and present during phase 1 and 2, in order to understand and deliver the best at phase 3.