Rory Cooper Confirmed as VISTA 2017 Keynote Speaker

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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The Seoul 1988 bronze medallist will pass on his knowledge at the scientific conference in September.

US Army veteran and Paralympic medallist Dr. Rory Cooper has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at September’s VISTA 2017 Conference in Toronto, Canada.

Cooper, a bronze medallist in wheelchair racing from Seoul 1988, was the founding director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. He currently works at the University of Pittsburgh in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“I am honored and excited to be a keynote speaker. VISTA is an important and highly regarded conference bring people together from around the world,” Cooper said.

The theme of this year’s conference which will take place between 20-23 September is “Opportunities, Challenges in Paralympic Sport Science & Sport Medicine Support.”

Cooper was a recipient of the Paralympic Scientific Award in 2013. At VISTA 2017, he will speak about advances in technology impacting sport and fitness, and also examine potential futuristic technologies and how they may re-define adaptive sport.

“A theme of my talk will be Paralympic Sport 2020 to 2040,” he said. “There are advances in manufacturing, robotics, and cybernetics that are making an impact at increasing rate. The changes will impact the Paralympic Movement, and it is best that people are informed and engaged.”

Cooper has worked to create and evaluate new sports technologies, advancing equipment used in wheelchair racing, handcycling, wheelchair tennis and seated throwing events. His research has appeared in more than 270 scientific publications.

He will join Canadian Professor Laura Misener and Dr. Cheri Blauwet, who were also announced as a VISTA keynote speaker.

“‎I hope that listeners will take away the critical role that technology plays in adaptive sports and recreation, and how technological advances pose both opportunities and challenges,” Cooper said. “I also hope to spur discussion about how technology and sport promote inclusion.”

The VISTA conference, an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) biennial event, is this year hosted by the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario.   It is designed to provide a platform for sport scientists and researchers to meet with experts in the field of sport for athletes with impairments to discuss, exchange, and gain advanced knowledge in this area.

It was first held in 1993 and has since developed a global reputation for acting as a platform for debate, discussion and dialogue on key issues relating to the growth of the Paralympic Movement.

Registration is now open at www.vista2017.com, with an early bird rate at CAD 400 (student rate CAD 200) until 15 June.

A further keynote speaker, the winner of the 2017 Paralympic Scientific Award, will be confirmed soon.

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