Gregorio Pradera enters his 18th year with the Avalanche in a full-time role as the club's Massage Therapist, properly preparing and relaxing the muscles of players before and after practices and games to help prevent injuries.
Born in Mexico City and raised in the Basque region of Spain, Pradera, 66, began playing jai-alai on a professional basis in Spain in 1968, with career stops in Tijuana, Mexico; Las Vegas, Nev.; Milford, Conn., and Florida. Retiring from the game of jai-alai, Pradera moved to Colorado in 1987 and began pursuing a new career in massage therapy in 1997, graduating with honors in the field in January 1998.
Just prior to joining the Avalanche, Gregorio worked for Izba Spa and at the 1999 Denver Broncos training camp. An avid sportsman, Pradera enjoys swimming, hiking, and is a cycling enthusiast; he began racing mountain bikes in 1996 and participates in bike rides on the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain.
He spends his summers living in his native Spain. Gregorio has two sons, Arturo and Yulen, and resides in Littleton.