A group of students and faculty from both the Athletic Training and Applied Exercise Science programs had a three-day, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Lake Placid, New York, earlier this month.
Thanks to UNE’s close relationship with the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey team as host of the team’s yearly evaluation camps, UNE students and faculty were granted the same access to the USOTC facilities as winter athletes currently in training. They shared the dining, residential, and performance spaces with potential future Olympians in skeleton, luge, biathlon, bobsled, and freestyle skiing.
As part of their stay, students met with members of the administrative, strength and conditioning, and sports medicine staff to learn about the unique challenges of working year-round with elite winter athletes. They also received a guided tour of the USOTC facilities.
“We got to sit down and talk to the full-time athletic trainers and the strength and condition coach at the OTC,” said Jennifer Laferriere (Applied Exercise Science, ’19). “They answered all our questions, and it was a great learning experience.” She reported that the students went tobogganing and even had the chance to go in a bobsled.
“The trip was everything we could have hoped for in terms of the educational and recreational activities for the students,” shared Wayne R. Lamarre, M.Ed., LAT, ATC, clinical professor and director of the Athletic Training program. “We anticipate making this a biannual event to allow as many students as possible to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Class of ’19 Athletic Training major Jake Gagne summed up the experience: “Lake Placid is a small community with a big history. It was exciting to see that history in person and to learn about the staff who work to keep Olympic athletes performing at their best.