How the Center of Excellence brings
injured athletes back to life By Emily Cook
PARK CITY — Walk through the U.S. Ski Team’s Center of Excellence (COE) gym mid-summer
and you’ll hear blasting music, strength coaches yelling, athletes grunting through demanding workouts, and the sound of hundreds of kilos of weight being thrown around. This month, however, as
most teams travel around the globe to fight for gold, the COE gym takes on a quieter but no less
Those of us still in Utah through December represent a diverse set of disciplines. The aerialists spend
their mornings on the trampoline, afternoons on the Utah Olympic Park jumps, and evenings studying
video and working out — making it easy for me to tag along while rehabbing a strained MCL ligament
in my knee. Other athletes drop in for physical testing or a quick workout on their way to an event in
Canada or Europe. But the majority of the athletes in the COE when there’s snow on the ground tend
to hang in the sports medicine room with Jess Tidswell.
Tidswell has created a sanctuary of healing in her corner of the COE, combining many of the mental
skills discussed in last issue’s column with her seemingly limitless knowledge of physical therapy and
athletic training. Throughout the season, Tidswell stays here in Utah, lending consistency and indi-
vidual attention to each injured athlete’s rehab program.
Ted Ligety undergoes ome hydrotherapy in the SwimEx pool.