KUSA - Call it the science behind winning.
"When I locked into that medal zone I thought 'just get yourself there,” said Jenny Simpson, who earned a Bronze medal in the 1500m. “Whatever it takes get yourself there.'"
Getting there, came through here: the CU Sports Medicine Center in Boulder.
“Everything is very well measured,” said Dr. Inigo San Millan, director of the sports performance department.
It’s a place that Rio Olympic bronze medalists Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson know well.
“All the merit goes to them, obviously, and their coaches, Coach Wetmore and Heather Burroughs,” said Dr. San Millan. “We just contribute to the scientific aspect of it.”
That science revolves around making sure athletes are at their best, as they head to the Olympics -- from breathing to how they metabolize food. It is all carefully monitored at the center.
“How the body works through exercise and how efficient it is and we see the strong points and the weak points,” Dr. San Millan said. “And, therefore, we can very clearly identify the weak points an athlete needs to improve, with specific training.”
In the months leading up to Rio, Coburn and Simpson came to the center weekly, where doctors analyzed them to make sure they were on track for the Games.
“In the last two months before Rio, you don’t want to change much,” Dr. San Millan said.
For Coburn and Simpson, the wins were emotional and heartfelt.
"Everyone in Colorado thanks for cheering and watching and sending me messages,” said Emma Coburn, who earned a Bronze medal in the 3000m Steeplechase.
Those cheers included those at CU’s Sports Medicine Center.
“Seeing them there at the Olympics in front of millions and millions of people is pretty cool stuff,” Dr. San Millan said.
As for where sports medicine goes from here, Doctor Millan said, in the future, genetic testing will be used to help athletes better fine tune their performances on a cellular level.