One of the many interesting aspects of the Olympics is learning about the people who work behind the scenes. One of these important people supporting the athletes is a familiar face to Mercyhurst University.
Gretchen Storm Mohney is a 1997 graduate of Mercyhurst with a degree in sports medicine, who is working with Team U.S.A. in the Olympics for figure skating.
While the pandemic was hard for many people, something great came out of it for Mohney.
According to an article on the Mercyhurst website, “When the pandemic hit in 2020, Mohney’s Olympic role morphed and she was asked to manage COVID19 protocols for the U.S. skaters, a job that included learning COVID requirements in real time across states and countries, coordinating testing, and ensuring the athletes were healthy.”
Here at Mercyhurst those working in Athletics have had to learn, adapt and manage COVID19 restrictions in order to keep Laker athletes safe, and Mohney has had to do that on a much larger scale, tracking the restrictions of multiple countries all over the world.
Growing up, Mohney always wanted to be a part of the Olympics. As a child, she figure skated competitively and practiced in any open rink in town. Little did she know that when she came to Mercyhurst her housing would be right across from the ice rink.
While she practiced as frequently as she could in the Mercyhurst Ice Center, like any other student, academics came first.
Mohney also decided to pursue other athletic interests outside of the ice rink. While at Mercyhurst, she decided to join the rowing team and was very successful, winning a gold medal at the Champion International Collegiate Regatta in 1995.
Who knew that years later she would be helping Olympians get their gold medals?
Today, Mohney is the Masters Director of Sports Medicine at Wayne State University.
Mohney was quoted in the Mercyhurst University article and said, “While assuming these different roles inevitably enriches the clinic practicality for my students at WSU, it often requires late nights, early mornings, vacations, and what should be downtime for full-time jobs.”
She said the late nights and early mornings do not bother her because she knows young athletes have a short window, one shot of getting to the Olympics.
However, she is not the only Mercyhurst alum who has been a part of the Olympics.
There have also been student athletes who have competed.
Although the U.S. women’s figure skating team did not win medals, they won hearts. It is not all about the medals; it is about the heart of the sports and showing your skills.
If you missed the original airing, be sure to find some videos of this years’ skaters online to enjoy the incredible athleticism these young competitors display in their performances and know that one of our own Lakers is behind the scenes supporting them.