Vail research institute sponsors skiers |

Vail research institute sponsors skiers

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Tommy Ford

VAIL, Colorado – Vail-based Steadman Philippon Research Institute, one of the world’s most recognized orthopedic research institutes, announced recently the sponsorship of two professional skiers in two disciplines of the sport. Alpine racer and Olympian Tommy Ford and professional free ride skier Tucker Perkins will each serve as ambassadors for the institute.

“These two young and accomplished athletes are great spokespeople for us,” said John McMurtry, vice president of development at the institute and former U.S. Ski Team coach and alpine director. “They are living examples of what we stand for and what we want to be able to preserve in people of all ages – making your dreams come true and keeping people active in all stages of life.”

Ford, who is scheduled to race in all three events at the Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek this week, has avoided injuries that would have him be a patient at The Steadman Clinic.

“I was aware of the institute and the impact of their evidence-based research through coaches and teammates who have benefitted from their work,” said Ford. “I wanted to be an ambassador for them because I realize the importance of their mission. At some point most of us will benefit from what they do, whether it helps us to continue professional ski racing, pursue recreational sports or continue playing with grandkids.”

Perkins, a former patient, has benefitted from the institute’s research.

“My first encounter with the institute and clinic was five years ago,” said Perkins. “My results have always been amazing. On each of my procedures, the results and data points of other patients helped me get the best care and results possible. I also like knowing that my data points contribute to the evidence-based medicine that helps others. We all have dreams and the institute helps keep people active so they can pursue them.”

Perkins sustained a knee injury skiing on Oct. 13 in New Zealand. He immediately came back to the States for treatment at the Steadman Clinic. He began skiing in the half-pipe just 48 days later, on Nov. 30.

“I feel great today,” Perkins said. “I owe that to the institute, and it makes me proud to be an ambassador for them.”

“Athletes are becoming bigger, faster and stronger; unfortunately their connective tissue does not. This means that injuries are becoming more complex,” said J. Michael Egan, CEO of the institute. “Our research into the anatomy and mechanisms of the complex hip, knee and shoulder, is being recognized worldwide. The successes of these two top tier athletes will continue to raise awareness of the Institute and the valuable work that we do here.”

The Steadman Philippon Research Institute is a nonprofit charitable organization based in Vail. The institute seeks to keep people physically active late into life through pioneering orthopedic research and education. For more information about The Steadman Philippon Research Institute, visit

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