Former Olympian and Clinical Exercise Physiology test subject gives back to Benedictine

May 2, 2017

Tom DoughtyLisle, Illinois ~ When former Olympian and Pan American gold medal cyclist Tom Doughty made the decision to re-enter the world of competitive cycling, he reached out to Benedictine for help getting back up to speed.

A resident of Naperville, Doughty first came to the University in the late 1980s to improve his physical endurance through the Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Exercise Physiology Community Testing Program.

Now nearly 30 years later, Doughty is helping Benedictine expand its reach to more athletes after donating a Velotron cycle ergometer to the Community Testing Program. The unit, worth between $7,000-$11,000, is used by sports science labs and coaching centers all over the world to measure an athlete’s performance.

“The lab at Benedictine is one of the few accredited facilities available to Chicago athletes, and I wanted to provide the additional Velotron bike to help serve more of those athletes,” Doughty said.

The Community Testing Program offers VO2max (the amount of oxygen an individual can utilize during maximum exertion), resting metabolic rate and body composition testing.

These tests, which are administered by students under the supervision of Regina Schurman, Ed.D., administrative program director for the M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program, can determine an athlete’s ability to perform sustained exercise, the number of calories necessary for a workout regimen and an individual’s ratio of fat to muscle mass.

“These lab classes prepare our students well for their internships at clinical sites in the area,” Schurman said. “It was a great experience for our students to have Tom in our lab because it isn’t very often we have athletes of his caliber who come in for testing. He was also very helpful in assisting us with acquiring parts to repair one of our other Velotron bikes.”

Doughty’s earlier cycling career includes stints on various Olympic, national and world teams throughout the ’70s and ’80s. He was also the national time trial champion record holder for a 25-mile event.

Doughty has since used the Community Testing Program at Benedictine on multiple occasions and performed successfully in a number of races.

In 2014, he was the American Bicycling Racing Criterium champion in the 60 and older division.

“Since I utilized a similar program at the beginning of my career, Benedictine seemed to be a natural place to establish some baseline capability measurements for the start of bike racing 2.0,” Doughty said. “The testing coupled with a good coach can provide the basis for training programs that will be effective almost immediately.

“From my perspective, sport’s contribution to humankind is to provide a means and a method to improve a person via participation physically, mentally and emotionally,” Doughty added. “The study of physical improvement and the translation of that science into personal improvement is what Regina and the Clinical Exercise Physiology lab at Benedictine provides.”

Benedictine’s two-year, adult evening M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program is well-recognized by Chicago area medical providers for its rigorous biomedical coursework and was designed with input from a committee of practicing exercise physiology professionals in accordance with the guidelines designated by the American College of Sports Medicine.

In addition to professional preparation, the program provides an excellent educational background for those who wish to pursue further study to become medical doctors, physician assistants or doctors of physical therapy, or who want to earn a Ph.D. in exercise physiology.

“We are very grateful for Tom’s generosity,” Schurman said. “This is just one example of how the relationships that our program has built with members of the surrounding community help enhance our students’ learning experiences.” 

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 9,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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