Aspen Sports Summit wraps up second go
Unlike most of the people sitting next to her onstage Saturday during a final panel discussion to wrap up the second annual Aspen Sports Summit at the Doerr-Hosier Center, Olympic sprinter and bobsledder Lauryn Williams didn’t claim to be a scientist.
She is, first and foremost, an athlete, and was a straight-shooter when it came to discussing most athletes’ feelings toward the science behind the games.
“I don’t think enough athletes get involved in the science. We are really busy being athletes,” Williams said. “We are not necessarily interested in the science behind what it takes to be a good athlete. We just want the science people to tell us what we need to do to be great. But I think it’s important that we continue to expand our minds.”
Williams, who is a three-time Olympic medalist and former 100-meter world champion, came to Aspen in an attempt to become more than just an athlete. She reached out to Aspen Sports Summit founder Bill Fabrocini, an Aspen-based physical therapist, to volunteer her time.
In its second year, the two-day summit was meant to bring together the top minds in sports medicine, both to empower and help raise money for charity. Last year, Aspen snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler was the feature athlete, and this year it was Williams.
“The biggest thing for me was looking for opportunities where sports people are excited about moving sports forward. So the Aspen Sports Summit was pretty much a no-brainer,” Williams said. “All these people are voluntarily coming here, wanting to learn from one another, and are wanting to move sports and performance to a new level and a new place. I think we are always better collectively than we are separately.”
Among the other speakers this year were Greg Roskopf, the CEO and founder of Muscle Activation Techniques, who has worked extensively with former National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning, and elite performance coach Loren Landow.
Lectures ranged from overcoming neck and back pain to advanced mental training for athletes, with this year’s summit adding hands-on exercise sessions.
“We are trying to change people’s lives, both from the health perspective and the education perspective, and inspire people to go out and help other people,” Fabrocini said. “Any time you can bring people together and then they can go out and share that enthusiasm, that’s the beauty of an event like this.”
The Aspen Sports Summit raised money for two local charities: the Bridging Bionics Foundation and HaitiChildren, both of which received a $5,000 check.
Now two years in, Fabrocini is committed to seeing the summit grow. He considered this year to be an important one in creating a strong foundation to build on, and wants to be able to write even larger checks to charities in the future.
“Building a conference is about establishing a brand. You have to have a brand so sponsors know who you are and want to support you; so people know about it and say, ‘I want to be a part of that,’ and they mark it on their calendar every year,” Fabrocini said. “We are achieving that while we are helping charity and bringing people together. We are very happy with where things are.”
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World Cup racing is returning to Aspen with men’s super-G and downhill events scheduled for March 2023, according to the Federation of International Skiing and the Aspen Skiing Co.