DVIDS – News – World champion figure skater applies her competitive edge to her medical career

World-class figure skater Ava Dimmick swapped her skates for a stethoscope earlier this month as she began medical school at the University of Health Sciences Uniformed Services’ Hébert School of Medicine (USU).

The newly appointed Army Second Lieutenant exudes enthusiasm and passion for the new challenge and the opportunity to work as a team with his classmates. For Dimmick, the USU represents the next logical step to giving back and helping others as a medical officer after years of representing the United States on the international stage.

“I’ve always been interested in medicine… (it’s) the next level of representing our country and giving back to it – it was kind of a perfect mix,” Dimmick says.


Dimmick’s parents exposed her and her sister to a bit of everything in the sports world from their hometown of Frederick, Maryland, but eventually skating took hold.

“When I was three, my parents put me in figure skating lessons,” Dimmick says. “We always joke that ‘they started it’. And I stuck to it. I competed in what’s called synchronized skating.

Synchronized skating consists of a team of 16 skaters performing complex maneuvers on the ice. The sport is lightning fast and requires an enormous amount of practice. In 2018, Dimmick accepted an offer to join the famed synchronized skating team Haydenettes, determined to become the best they could be.

“We trained about 20 hours a week together, whether it was on the ice, doing weight training off the ice, doing ballet – or even just standing in front of a mirror making sure we were all in sync with our movements,” recalls Dimmick. “We spin, back up, do aerial lifts for the girls doing splits in the air, and we travel on the ice with them above our heads.”

Dimmick’s four years of performance with the Haydenettes has culminated in multiple national championship wins, competitions at international level and a top-five finish at the 2022 World Championships.

“When we’re all out together, there are so many things you think about,” she said. “Everyone has to be at the same time, so you hit all your accounts, ‘are you getting your lift moment?’ Because if a person can’t get on an elevator too soon, it can completely hamper the rest of the elevator. It’s all about timing. It’s as much mental focus as it is a physically demanding sport.

Dimmick says just one program can leave her and her team completely devastated when they step off the ice.

“You come to the end and you’re so physically gassed, it’s very physically demanding.” said Dimmick.

During her competitive stint, she traveled to Sweden, Austria, Finland, Canada, France and England, representing the United States. One of the things she loved the most was hearing the audience shout “USA”

“Hearing those words when you get the ice cream is something I dreamed of when I was younger, so hearing the crowd chant those three letters ‘USA’ there’s nothing quite like it,” says Dimmick.

“The Next Challenge”

Stepping away from sports at a competitive level to pursue military medicine at USU was not an easy decision, but Dimmick says his interest in health and medicine has always gone hand in hand with being an athlete, and that her two interests share a lot in common.

“It (the process) was similar to figure skating in that you’re always working towards a goal, there’s always something on the horizon…it’s the same with medicine, whether it’s Whether it’s passing the MCAT, scoring on the MCAT, or taking that first interview and getting into medical school — there’s always been a goal.

Dimmick adds that she wants to give back and help others because of the inspiring examples her parents and coaches have been for her and the encouragement she has received for stepping forward.

“I had phenomenal role models.”

At USU, Dimmick once again finds himself pushing his drive, dedication, and perseverance to the limit, learning to become one of the best of the best in military medicine.

“I’m ready for the next challenge and there’s always something to aim for or learn. I am very excited.”

Date taken: 16.08.2022
Date posted: 17.08.2022 07:09
Story ID: 427401

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