Kent Timm ’81 parlayed physical therapy expertise into an Olympic experience

Although not an athlete, Kent Timm ’81 is a three-time Olympian. As a doctor of physical therapy, he participated in Olympic Games in Atlanta, Australia and Salt Lake City in the sports medicine department. He also has been a sports physical therapist for the Pittsburgh Penguins, athletic trainer for the Pittsburgh Steelers and athletic trainer at Carnegie-Mellon University.

During high school, Timm was a dedicated athlete in basketball, football, and track and field. But a career-ending injury in his senior year changed his focus.

He had been thinking of applying to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study sports medicine. But his attendance at Badger Boys State on the Ripon College campus changed that, too.

“I obviously saw what I liked, and that’s made the big difference,” he says. “The liberal arts and sciences experience at Ripon College is the foundation of my success. Without the diversity of thoughts and being well-rounded in a variety of different areas, I would not have been able to do the things I have.”

At Ripon, Timm had a self-designed major in pre-sports medicine and another major in biology. He served as the athletic trainer for the sports teams. After graduation, he went on to earn three master’s degrees and a Ph.D.

As a doctor of physical therapy and sports medicine at Renue Physical Therapy in Saginaw, Michigan, he was named one of the best physical therapists in the United States by The Best of the U.S., LLC. His expertise also was recognized when he was invited to join the U.S. Olympic Committee medical staff during the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000 and 2002. His work facility, Renue Physical Therapy, was added to the United States Olympic Committee National Medical Network and is authorized to treat Olympic athletes.

“It is great helping people overcome their problems and disabilities, get to a higher level of function and health, and let them achieve in their life what they want to do,” Timm says. “I still cannot adequately describe my feeling of pride and accomplishment in representing the United States. Ripon College is responsible for giving me the foundation that led to the Olympic Games. I’m in a position now to help and be a resource as needed.”

Timm has served on the Ripon College Alumni Board of Directors and representative to the College Board of Trustees.


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