Ingles Honored Late Jazz Therapist Doug Birrell At Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Joe Ingles posted a message on Instagram showing how he honored late Utah Jazz massage therapist Doug Birrell at the Olympic games.
Birrell passed away in March at just 51 years old.
Ingles, who took home the bronze medal with Australia, the first-ever medal for the men’s Olympic basketball team, showed how he paid tribute to the Jazz long-time therapist throughout the games.
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“Dougie Fresh is always with me,” Ingles wrote of the affectionately named Birrell. “March 7 was one of my worst days, Doug lost his battle with cancer. I promised to bring you along with me on this journey ever since, I know you were watching these Olympics & would be so proud of my team & I! Love you!”
Ingles honored Birrell by scribing “Dougie Fresh” on his wristband during the games, leaving fans asking what the writing was.
The Jazz guard also wrote the name “Lex” with a heart and a fish drawn to honor Alexa Leary, an Australian triathlete who was in a serious bike accident in July.
“Every time the game gets hard, I’m tired, not playing well, I look down at my wrist & quickly realise how tough it is on others individually or their families.. this is just a game at the end of the day.” Ingles wrote.
“A part of this Bronze medal is for you two.”
Ingles and his Boomers teammates took home the bronze after defeating Slovenia in their final meeting at the Olympics. The 33-year-old was competing in his fourth Olympics with Australia and earned the medal after finishing in fourth place at the 2016 games in London.
Birrell attended Snow College and the University of Utah before graduating at the top of his class from the Utah College of Massage Therapy in 1993.
After college, Birrell was officially hired by the Jazz in 1999 after spending five years as a privately contracted massage therapist to Karl Malone and John Stockton through the team’s two trips to the NBA Finals.
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