U Named National Olympic Medical Center | KUER 90.1

U Named National Olympic Medical Center

May 11, 2016

The U.S. Olympic Committee has added the University of Utah to its National Medical Network to support elite U.S. athletes. It’s the third medical center to join the network and the only academic institution in this role.

The press conference began with a video of dramatic moments of victory for US Olympic athletes. Freestyle skier Shannon Bahrke had a moment like that when she won the silver medal in moguls at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

“What people don’t see is when you’re injured, when you blow out your knee and you’re lying in the middle of the snow, crying… and that moment of getting back on the podium, it seems like Mt. Everest, and you’re in Death Valley,” Bahrke says.

After three knee surgeries, shoulder surgery, foot surgery, a broken jaw and a couple back injuries, Bahrke says she couldn’t do it without the medical experts. “It’s those people that are behind the scenes that put us back together and give us the skills and everything to get us back onto the mountain so that we can compete our best.”

As a part of the National Medical Network, University of Utah Health Care will now be providing that care to elite Olympic athletes, specializing in orthopedic and physical medicine, primary care, dentistry, ophthalmology and neurosurgery. Alan Ashley is Chief of Sports Performance for the US Olympic Committee.

“The history of Utah in terms of performance and support for athletes is amazing,” Ashley says. “There are many legends in this room right now, and they’ll be many legends to come based upon the investment and really the passion that this state brings to the movement, and that the University of Utah brings to our partnership.”

The partnership also extends to research and education. The David Eccles School of Business will educate Team USA athletes. And the University is currently heading up an effort to advise the US Olympic Committee about the risk of infectious disease at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The partnership also extends to research and education. The David Eccles School of Business will educate Team USA athletes. And the University is currently heading up an effort to advise the US Olympic Committee about the risk of infectious disease at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.