Old Unionite Lawrence van Lingen currently finds himself at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, as part of the coaching staff of the Bermuda team, in particular Bermudian triathlete, Flora Duffy.
As a sports chiropractor and movement specialist, Lawrence is on hand to assist Duffy with her running technique, movement, and injury treatment and prevention.
[ Duffy, undoubtedly one of triathlon’s greats, just so happened to take home the gold with a commanding performance in the women’s triathlon event on Tuesday, 27 July, finishing in a time of 1:55:36 and earning her country its first gold medal. ]
In addition to Duffy, Lawrence is also working with three-time Olympian, American racing cyclist Amber Neben, who competed in the women’s individual road cycling event today, Wednesday, 28 July.
Neben, who at 46 is a decade or two older than the other women vying for a place on the podium, delivered a stellar performance, coming in 5th in the final. Lawrence has been working with Neben for the past 6 years, helping her to overcome a pelvic fracture and chronic pain following a cycling incident.
Lawrence, who relocated to Laguna Beach, California, in 2013, matriculated from Union High School as part of the Class of 1989, after having attended the school from Grade 5 to 12.
After matriculating from Union, Lawrence launched his professional journey by qualifying in South Africa as a licensed Sports Chiropractor by graduating with a Master’s Degree from the Durban University of Technology. He has since amassed more than 20 years of experience working with world-class athletes, gaining an international reputation for helping athletes overcome difficult injuries and postural problems as well as helping them achieve significant breakthroughs in performance.
Over the past 20 years, Lawrence has been entrusted with providing physical therapy to world-class runners, including New York Marathon winner Willie Mtolo, Olympic Marathon Gold medallist Josiah Thugwane, South African marathon record holder Zithulele Sinqe and members of the 4x100m World Champion South African track team. At the same time, he was working with Olympic swimmers and triathletes, as well as professional golfers and tennis, cricket and rugby players.
Some highlights of Lawrence’s career include assisting the Durban Surf Lifesaving Club to three World Titles. He was then tapped by the world-class Natal Sharks Rugby team as a movement and core conditioning coach for a year, simultaneously working with several Springbok rugby players.
Lawrence was also the fitness and conditioning coach and team physician for the Glenwood Falcons Premier League rugby team for four years. This diverse range of sports and responsibilities equipped him with a broad and varied foundation for his whole-body view – of people generally and athletes specifically.
Lawrence’s philosophy and views on elite performance are not merely theoretical either.
He has walked the walk when it comes to high-level sports, racing as a professional triathlete for two years and completing ten full Ironman races during that time. His last three years in South Africa were spent working full time in private practice. Here, he treated numerous world-class and amateur athletes, using manual therapy and tissue release to both restore normal function and movement and to catalyze higher levels of performance.
Lawrence’s unique approach drew the attention of Red Bull and in 2013 he was appointed as their High-Performance Manager for the company’s South African athletes. This included world-class surfers, trail runners, triathletes and XC mountain bikers. Lawrence also worked with the legendary Santa Cruz Syndicate and Greg Minnaar, the 2012 and 2013 UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Champion.
At the end of 2013, Lawrence relocated with his wife and daughter to Southern California and currently has a Structural Integration practice in Laguna Beach. In addition to triathlete Flora Duffy and two-time UCI World Time Trial Champion Amber Neben (who he helped back to four US national victories and a world title after a severe crash), his clientele includes numerous standout triathletes (assisting with injuries and performance enhancement) as well as amateur and local school athletes.
Throughout his career, Lawrence has made a point of assisting not just elite athletes, but also amateurs and regular members of the community. His philosophy of attaining a better life through a better-integrated body is applicable to all.
𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘓𝘢𝘸𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘈 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦.
Pictured here is Old Unionite Lawrence Van Lingen, sporting the pink Bermuda kit in the middle, with Richard Murray, a South African Olympic triathlete, on the right and Port Elizabeth local and standout triathlete David Hyam on the left at the Olympic Games currently being held in Tokyo, Japan.