WVU's Department of Orthopaedics represented at World Speedskating Championships

WVU's Department of Orthopaedics represented at World Speedskating Championships

Pictured with Dr. Moeller (left) is Anne Hinley, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer, US Short Track Speedskating (center), and Carlijn Shoutens, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery Resident, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Former Team USA Long Track Speedskater and Olympic Bronze Medalist (Right). 


James Moeller, M.D., Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at West Virginia University School of Medicine recently returned from serving as the head team physician for Team USA at the prestigious International Skating Union 2024 World Short Track Speedskating Championships that took place March 15-17 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

As the head team physician, Dr. Moeller was responsible for general medical care for the athletes during practice and the event itself, from routine illnesses to traumatic injuries that may occur during any session on the ice. 

Moeller emphasized the collaborative nature of providing medical care at such a high-level event. United States medical staff aren’t considered licensed medical providers in foreign countries, so they need to work within the rules and regulations of the host nation while putting athlete health first by communicating with the host medical team.

“When I travel with the team, it is usually just the athletic trainer and I providing medical services. We all have our specific areas of expertise where we are primarily responsible,” he said. “At the same time, we all try to pitch in and help each other with responsibilities which can be shared so no one on the team gets burned out.”

Moeller found the experience of representing WVU on the global stage truly rewarding.

“It is an honor to represent the University and Department of Orthopaedics on this stage. Their support allows me to continue to pursue my personal and professional goals that lie outside the usual lines and it is greatly appreciated,” he said. “My goal is to bring back all I've learned and apply it to the treatment of our sports-medicine patients here. They deserve the same level of attention and expertise.”

Moeller started his journey of getting involved with speedskating medical coverage in 1996 when an orthopaedic surgeon colleague invited him to help with team physicals. Since then, he has volunteered his expertise annually with the US Speedskating team.

“These athletes are our nation’s best. They train and compete in relative anonymity most of the time, only gaining attention in Olympic years. This is my way to show them their hard work is appreciated and that I support them 100%,” said Moeller. “The most rewarding part is how appreciative the athletes, coaches and US Speedskating are; that makes it all worth it to me.”

For more information about the Department of Orthopaedics, visit medicine.wvu.edu/orthopaedics.