Laura Crack

Laura Crack

Working with World-Class Athletes


Injuries are an unfortunate part of any athlete’s life. As an amateur speed skater, Laura Crack knows this all too well. As a Health Science student, it may not come as a surprise that Laura’s interests are focused on human physiology. When Dr. Nicholas Berryman, her honours thesis supervisor, realized that Laura was looking for a hands-on learning experience in her field, he suggested the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund.

“It’s a dream come true!” Laura says.

The 22-year-old from Toronto will be shadowing an exercise physiologist at the Institut national du sport du Québec in Montreal. “My internship will be half practical, half theoretical, since most of the athletes will be travelling to Rio for the Olympics,” she explains.

Laura knows Excellence Sportive Sherbrooke, the organization’s regional branch, very well, having trained there for years. But being part of the athletic community doesn’t diminish her excitement for this opportunity.

“Elite athletes are such a small group in our population; working with them is not something most people in my field get to do,” Laura says. “I feel very honoured to have this chance.”

Laura will be gaining a deep and practical understanding of how athletes’ physiological cycles work, and how to maximize an athlete’s potential through training programs. “In class, I learn a cookie cutter model. But every athlete is different. When athletes work one-on-one with an experienced physiologist, it’s easy to see how each athlete varies physiologically. I’m really excited to see those individual differences,” she says.

Laura is also hoping to explore how athletes injure themselves and what can be done to avoid it. “Every sport has risk; injuries are almost unavoidable,” she begins. “I’m excited to see how I can use physiological testing to prevent acute and chronic injuries.”

Laura is hoping to use her signature determination and work ethic to apply what she’s learned in a variety of settings both on and off campus. “I’m excited to incorporate what I’ve learned into my honours thesis, which will focus on the geriatric department at the local hospital in Sherbrooke,” she says. “But I’m also hoping to work with our Gaiter athletes in the new high performance lab at the Sports Centre. ”

Hands-on learning that benefits the wider community: such is the ripple effect of B.E.S.T.