While watching the Olympics it is easy to be amazed by the athletes' physical feats and not think about the years of training and the team of people behind the scenes who help them stay healthy and in top shape. Thaïs Mollet ’95 is one of those people.
Mollet knew from a young age that she wanted to be involved in medicine. A three-sport athlete at GFA — tennis, basketball, and volleyball — being active and taking care of herself was always a priority. Her introduction to physical therapy came when her mother, former GFA French teacher Danielle Mollet, was in a bad car accident and needed home rehabilitation. Then, during her senior year at GFA, she tore her ACL, which derailed her basketball career but cemented her desire to go into physical therapy.
Mollet spent her formative years at GFA and reflects on her time at the school fondly. She was greatly influenced by faculty members like Betsy Bergeron, Amy Gagnan, Jim Benz, and Amy Schwartz whose dedication, high standards, and passion for their work was inspiring.
Betsy Bergeron remembered that while at GFA Mollet was a “quiet and genuine person. She was an athlete, a scholar, and a musician. Very astute and very observant. She was everything you would want in a student and in a person.”
Having her mother on campus was not always easy, but at the same time, it provided the support Mollet grew to appreciate. “A parent-teacher conference could happen at any time,” she laughed. “Having my mom teach at GFA gave me the opportunity to go to GFA, so, I am, of course, eternally grateful for that.”
After high school, Mollet attended Wheaton College and went on to earn her Doctor of Physical
Therapy from Boston University in 2004. Her love of the outdoors brought her to Reno, NV, and her mother and brother, Cedric Mollet ’93, soon followed her west.
While in Reno, Mollet became involved with the High Fives Foundation, a nonprofit that helps people with spinal cord injuries get back to the activities they enjoyed pre-accident. Mollet became particularly close with one athlete, Will Lachenauer (Rio Paralympic Silver medalist in hand cycling), who had broken his back. He offered to pass her résumé along to the Director of the Paracycling Team. Two weeks later she got a call to see if she would be interested in joining the team in Italy as their physical therapist for the World Cup.
At the World Cup games in 2014, Mollet met the head Olympic Track Cycling Coach Andy Sparks. Mollet soon started traveling with the Olympic Indoor Cycling team and has been with them ever since. In 2016, she attended the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as Physical Therapist for the USA track cycling team where the team won two silver medals. During the 2020 Summer Olympics, she spent a month in Tokyo with the velodrome track athletes as well as the road cycling team.
At the start of Covid, Mollet opened her own clinic, Mollet Physical Therapy, after working in the field for 18 years. She now enjoys being able to give her clients the time and one-on-one care they deserve. She works with professional athletes — including Krysta Palmer, the American diver who won a bronze medal in Tokyo — as well as retirees in need of weekly maintenance to keep them on the pickleball courts. She is looking forward to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France, where she will continue her work with the cycling teams and stay in the area after the games to visit family.
While Mollet may have recognized her path early on, when asked what advice she would give to GFA students, she emphasized the need to set goals and intentions and to believe in yourself. She describes herself as somewhat of a late bloomer academically but strongly believes that it’s never too late to commit yourself and achieve your goals.