Shaquille O’Neal. Paul Kariya. Steve Nash. Michelle Kwan. Terrell Owens. Craig Forrest. Owen Hargreaves. Their names read like North American sport royalty. And they all have one thing in common: when injuries threatened their careers, they all turned to Alex McKechnie for help.
Over forty years of strengthening and rehabilitating thousands of athletes, McKechnie has built an international reputation as an innovator and world leader in sport science and physiotherapy.
After growing up in Scotland and graduating from the Leeds School of Physiotherapy in England, he began his career in 1974 as SFU’s head physiotherapist. The Vancouver Whitecaps brought him on board in their second season and word soon spread of his success getting injured athletes back on the field. Over the next few decades he continued to work with the Whitecaps and 86ers, as well as the Vancouver Canucks and the Canadian men’s national soccer team including at Canada’s memorable Gold Cup championship in 2000.
At the same time, McKechnie operated his own private sports medicine practice in Burnaby and helped thousands of everyday athletes and stars alike. He became a world authority on core training and movement integration, inventing the Torsion Board—that Reebok later marketed and sold as the Core Board—and the Core-X System, used by pro teams around the world.
After McKechnie saved Shaq’s career, the Los Angeles Lakers made him a full-time member of their staff and he earned five NBA championship rings in 11 seasons. Since 2011, he has worked as the Toronto Raptors’ director of sport science. In 2019, McKechnie earned his sixth NBA championship ring, helping the Raptors to their first NBA title and playing a key role in maintaining the health of Raptors star Kawhi Leonard throughout the regular season and playoffs.
Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
To view the 2018 Inductee career and thank you videos please visit our YouTube Channel here.