Jennifer's Heroes: Joe Gieck

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

May 20, 2010

After spending time at West Point Military Academy, Joe Gieck worked for more than four decades as the Head of Sports Medicine at the University of Virginia. Despite retiring from the university setting, Gieck remains highly involved, serving on several boards and volunteering in sports medicine.

"You know who he is. He comes in, he's engaging, he talks to people, he's genuinely concerned about people," said Beth Barber.

Gieck is a celebrated senior citizen in the Charlottesville community. In the spirit of Gov. McDonnell's proclamation declaring May as 'Older Virginians Month', the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County have proclaimed May 28 as Senior Independence Day. Gieck will be awarded as an "Honored Independent Senior."

After retiring five years ago, Gieck now sits on the board at Charlottesville's Senior Center.

"To me, that's when you start your second adolescence, when you start your second career so to speak," said Gieck.

Growing up, Gieck, like many children, wanted to be a professional athlete. However, when he discovered he didn't stack up with the competition athletically, Gieck decided to venture into athletic training. Years later, Gieck volunteers at a private practice three days a week.

"You set your own hours and you can be as busy as you want. The main thing is to fill it up with quality hours. It keeps you fresh," said Gieck.

Gieck will be honored next week at the Branchlands Manor House during the second annual Senior Independence Day. The award ceremony and celebration will be open to the entire community.

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