BUFFALO, N.Y. — We've been closely following our local Olympic athletes in Tokyo, but there are some Western New Yorkers working behind-the-scenes for Team USA, too.
Dr. J. Luke Pryor is one of them. He's a professor and researcher in UB's Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. For the last five years, Dr. Pryor also been on the sports medicine staff for USA Rowing.
Luke works remotely with the athletes and coaches to collect and scientifically analyze data to help them perform their best on the water. His area of expertise is looking into how heat and hydration effects output.
"The day to day things aren't as fascinating as they might seem," he told 2 On Your Side. "But it's really interesting to me because when you look over the long term we have multiple competitions every year. This year happens the big one is the Olympics, right? So you see the fruit of all that labor and it's more than just watching a sport. You're rooting for the individual you developed these relationships and so that's what keeps me coming back day to day and why the passion is there. It's great to see them succeed."
This is the first Olympic games since Luke took on this role with USA Rowing. They've yet to medal, but there are several more final competitions today and tomorrow, and Dr. Pryor will be cheering them on from back home.