Lindsay Slater

Go Figure

Lindsay Slater is making sure that U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team hopefuls stay injury-free as they prepare for Pyeongchang 2018.

A doctoral student in the Curry School’s sports medicine program, Lindsay Slater is a perfect example of how giving can have far-reaching impacts.

As a child, Slater turned to figure skating to pass the hours at the ice rink while her brother played hockey. By the time she got to college she was good enough to walk on to Miami University’s varsity synchronized skating team, which won the U.S. Collegiate National Championship in her sophomore and junior years.

After that, she stopped competing so she could focus on her undergraduate studies, though she went on to chose a graduate major that was inspired by her experience as an athlete: biomechanics, especially the study of sports movement. Once Slater had earned her master’s degree, the obvious next step was to conduct research at the Curry School’s Exercise and Sports Injury Laboratory, which is part of the Department of Kinesiology.

“I wanted an innovative program on the front lines of lower-extremity injury research,” Slater said. “The research environment at the Curry School is above and beyond others in the sports medicine field. This is my dream to be here.”

Lindsay Slater

Fortunately for Slater, generous friends of the Curry School had already put in place sources of support for bright and talented students like her. The 2016 David H. Perrin Sports Medicine Award allowed her to continue her research through an otherwise unfunded summer month without having to find outside employment.

“Lindsay is doing just the kind of translational research my fellow donors and I were hoping this award would encourage,” said David H. Perrin, a former Curry School professor and director of Curry’s graduate programs in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine.

The research environment at the Curry School is above and beyond others in the sports medicine field. This is my dream to be here.

Slater added that without the award she would not be where she is now in her dissertation research. She is examining deterioration in athletes’ sports performance after an ACL reconstruction. A $1,000 grant from the Dean’s Research and Development Fund—another resource established by donors—is helping to support Slater’s investigations.

With all this support, Slater is poised to excel in her field. The combination of her research in the Exercise and Sports Injury Lab and her ice skating experience has already prepared her to make a significant impact on the future of 35 Olympic hopefuls. Working with Peter Zapalo, director of sports science and medicine for the U.S. Figure Skating Association of America, she has developed an observational measurement tool to help identify skaters whose movements put them at high risk for injury. After screening figure skaters in Colorado Springs last summer, Slater worked with the USFSA’s Sports Sciences and Medicine Committee to develop a treatment plan for skaters who were flagged.

In honor of her contribution, the U.S. Figure Skating/Professional Skaters Association presented Slater with the 2016 Pieter Kollen Sport Science Award for use of scientific technology in figure skating.

An award-winning sports scientist and a team of Olympic skaters all are set for a bright future—with help from insightful donors to the Curry School who understand that the impact of giving can sometimes reach further than they can imagine.

Read more about the impact donors are making for Curry School students in the Curry School Foundation’s 2016 Annual Report.