SUU Blog | T-Bird Nation

Alumni Goes to Rio as Olympic Physician

By Cami Mathews on August 12, 2016 in

Alumni, Summer

Jason Blackham at the Team USA House during the Rio 2016 OlympicsJason Blackham, a Southern Utah University alumni who graduated in 1999, is in Rio with the U.S. Olympic team working as one of their team physicians.

While at SUU, Blackham had an active life both in and outside of the classroom. He was a runner for the university’s track and field team (where he was able to meet his future wife) and he participated on pre-med advisory committees. He graduated with a major in biology and a minor in both chemistry and mathematics.

After graduating from SUU, Blackham attended medical school and was surprised by how prepared he was.

“That first year of med school wasn’t that hard because SUU’s pre-med classes were so rigorous,” said Blackham. “I was amazed by the foundation that I received. I was very prepared because of SUU and the experiences I had at SUU can’t be found anywhere else.”

Jason Blackham on beach during Rio 2016 OlympicsAfter medical school, Blackham worked in various parts of the county in both internal and sports medicine. He volunteered at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado which introduced him to the athletes and trainers. It was this experience that gave him the opportunity to travel with them to Brazil for the Rio Olympics.

As a kid, I always dreamed of being an athlete in the Olympics competing in track and field,” said Blackham. “I didn’t think that being a physician would get me there.”

Blackham will be accompanied in Rio by his wife and kids. He is honored to go to the Olympics and is awed that he will be able to interact with world-class athletes.