Kinesiology alumna interns with USA Olympic Track and Field

Lia Skoufos ’23 BS KINES
Photo: Lia Skoufos

A committed track and field athlete as a UIC undergrad, Lia Skoufos ’23 BS KINES knew she wanted a career closely related to her passion. After graduating from UIC and starting a new degree program at Marquette University, she landed an internship with the perfect organization: the Olympics-bound USA Track and Field team.

As an intern in sports science and data analytics, Skoufos will work with USATF coaches in the leadup to the summer 2024 games. She will analyze data to improve the performance of top athletes with medal potential.

It’s the balancing act between computing “cold, hard numbers” and offering real-world improvements for high-level athletes that Skoufos finds exciting.

“I saw something recently that asked the question, ‘Does science guide coaching, or does coaching guide science?’”

For her internship, Skoufos will work on the science-driven side of that scale, but she recognizes that “innovations often start with the coaching staff,” who develop new and creative techniques. Her time with USATF will offer a chance to see both sides of the debate in play.

“People studying kinesiology should know that you can be more than a physical therapist or an occupational therapist,” Skoufos said.

Applying her kinesiology expertise to her personal passions—and combining that expertise with computer science—sets her up for a unique, fulfilling career.

“Once you start blending kinesiology with another discipline—that’s when you’re going to find something powerful.”