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West Campus athletes share Olympian-to-student experiences

9/24/2012 (Archived)

As life-long, elite-level athletes who’ve competed on the world’s largest sports “stage,” former Olympians Lindsay Alcock, Syl Corbett, and Melissa Hoar have experienced the thrill of victory -- and the agony of the feet … neck, legs, back, etc.

 CA Melissa Hoar skeleton race*Motivated by the personal benefits gained as patients, and inspired by the D.C.s who provided their care, Alcock, Corbett, and Hoar are now students at Palmer’s West Campus. 

The trio of Olympians discussed their athletic achievements, and the experiences that guided them toward chiropractic careers, at a recent event hosted by the West Campus Sports Council.

For Alcock and Hoar, in particular, chiropractic seems an apt career path to follow, given their primary sport: skeleton. (Imagine lying on a small sled, rocketing along a winding, frozen track, with 90-degree curves, your helmet inches from the ice, enduring bone-jarring forces up to 5g!)

Alcock, a Calgary, Alb., native, competed in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, and achieved a number one world-ranking in the skeleton for the 2004 season. She credits West alumnus Dr. Greg Uchacz, chiropractor for the Canadian teams of the ‘02, ‘06 and ‘10 Winter Olympics, for quality care as well as career inspiration.

“(Dr. Uchacz) is my mentor; he impressed me with his knowledge of the body, and how to bring our physical performances to a higher level,” said Alcock, a silver medalist at the 2004 World Championships who is on track to graduate in 2013.

CA West Olympian studentsHoar competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and has qualified for the World Championships every year since she started “sliding” in 2005. The native Australian achieved performance-strengthening results through care provided during the Vancouver, B.C., Olympiad by Palmer Davenport alumnus Dr. Jason Ross, Team USA chiropractor.

“I always knew that I wanted to do something within the health field, and chiropractic seemed like it was the best fit for me, especially as I personally benefited, and learned that chiropractic was more than just adjusting the spine,” said Hoar, a two-time Surf Life Saving world-champion, who is midway through the West Campus program.

With aspirations of competing in the 2014 Winter Games, the Univ. of Wollongong (Australia) graduate will take a break from her chiropractic classes this fall, to devote more training time for the next Olympiad, in Sochi, Russia.

Corbett’s event (snowshoeing) was a showcased sport at the 2010 Winter Olympics that did not become a permanent sport. However, the Canmore, Alb., Canada native is proud of her groundbreaking participation in a grueling event that equates to running an ultra-marathon course – through snow -- with your feet tied to a pair of hi-tech tennis racquets.

“Chiropractic has helped me tremendously, and has been instrumental in allowing me to be competitive,” said Corbett, who earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Concordia University and her MSc. (human movement) from A.T. Still University, and also competes in triathlons and mountain-running.

“I think one of the main reasons that chiropractic care is in greater demand among so many athletes is simply because it works!” said Corbett, who will graduate in March 2015 and plans to parlay her passion for outdoor athletics into a sport-focused practice.

First photo: Melissa Hoar in a skeleton race. 

Second photo: (from left) West Campus students Syl Corbett, Melissa Hoar and Lindsay Alcock.