Video: This Professor Is Getting People Out of Wheelchairs and Onto Skis

Shawn Russell has a saying: The key to overcoming your fears is confidence.

An assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia with an appointment in mechanical and aerospace engineering, he studies biomechanics and human movement to improve the lives of people who are disabled.

When he is not in his lab working with patients and graduate students, Russell takes his professional skills to Wintergreen Ski Resort. For the last 15 years, he has worked with the Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, which provides outdoor sports and recreation for folks with disabilities.

“They spend all day being in a chair being told what they can’t do,” he said. “Our main goal is showing them what they can do.”

Russell also takes his students up to the mountain to see real-life applications of the work they do in the lab.

The work is transformational. So is this video.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications