MNU news

Professor On Medical Staff for Paralympic Swimming World Championships

Assistant Professor Chris Crawford (’00) will soon land in Glasgow, Scotland to serve on the medical staff for the 2015 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships, July 13 through 19. Crawford is the clinical education coordinator for MNU’s athletic training program and through his years of professional experience has connected with many Paralympic competitors.

IPC Swimming oversees world championship games and the summer Paralympic games. The World Championship is the largest world IPS Swimming event leading up to the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016. Last year’s World Championship hosted 479 athletes from 54 countries who competed in 172 medal events.

With MNU since 2012, Crawford has 15 years of experience in athletic training for many sports and in all kinds of settings. He teaches many classes in the Athletic Training Program including Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Occupational Therapy.

Chris Crawford (middle) teaching MNU students in athletic training program.

During the seven-day-long games, travel and practice days leading up to the event, Crawford will be on-call along with one other athletic trainer for a team of 25 swimmers. He’ll be traveling and housing with the team and working with the para-athletes for their events as well as helping keep their bodies as prepared as possible for the grueling events.

“It’s a lot of soft-tissue work,” says Crawford. “The tissue needs to be fresh for 8, 9, or 10 races through 3 or 4 days, so we do a lot of massage, joint work, flexibility and stretching.” He’ll be working with the swimmers during preliminary races, before and after their events, and each evening as they are gearing up for the next full day of events.

As one of only two medical staff providing holistic care for the US Paralympic team, Crawford will have plenty to do during his trip. He will treat athletes with many different types and levels of disabilities.

Crawford applied to begin working with US Olympians in 2013. Trainers participate in a two-week volunteer rotation at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After completing the volunteer program, trainers and other contract medical workers are approved for work with all U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, based on the discretion of the coaches.

Crawford plays an instrumental part in shaping the Athletic Training program at MNU. In this competitive program, students must apply and be accepted during second semester of their freshman year. Once accepted, students begin a mix of hands-on lab work combined with lecture. In addition each student completes field experiences and an internship.

Many of Crawford’s students accompany him on his many field experiences, such as the Garmin Marathon and work with the Overland Park Soccer Complex or Blue Valley Schools District.

Crawford plans to post photos of his work in Glasgow, follow him and more about MNU’s athletic training program on Twitter at @mnu_atep.


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