Champlin Park Senior refuses to let academics go down hill after ski mishap

9:17 PM, Feb 7, 2011   |    comments
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Academic All Star Karin Sather

CHAMPLIN PARK, Minn. -- For somebody who enjoys skiing as much as Karin Sather, the Champlin Park senior hardly looked excited with skis in hand.

Trudging through the snow on a crystal-clear January morning, Sather looked like she was headed for the principal's office rather than the ski hill. But, that's because there was no ski hill. Sather, a captain of the Alpine ski team was headed out to ski cross-country for P.E. class, and while she likes cross country skiing, for Karin, it doesn't come close to racing down hill.

"Skiing is one of those crazy things where you just don't really understand why you do it", says Karin. Especially racing, because there's nothing smart about it, nothing smart about it!"

And, Karin Sather should know about what's smart, and what isn't.
Ranked #6 in her class with a GPA of 4.2, Karin's award-winning participation in STEM and Science Fairs, has led to funded research at the U of M.

"This year I'm looking at leaf decomposition rates", says Karin. "More specifically, which type of leaf leaches the most nutrients when it's on an impermeable surface?"

And, the bottom line is..

"Don't put chemicals on your grass because it runs right into the water".

An A.P. Scholar with distinction, and a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service award, Karin's life and academic experience was impacted by her second major accident while down hill racing.

"They came in and said that they had good news and bad news", says Karin "The good news is all of my internal organs are fine and the bad news is that I had three fractures in my lower back."

Karin followed 5-days on her back, with 9-months in a back brace, and 6-months of physical therapy.

Says Karin, "I learned a lot about people from breaking my back and it's the kind of thing that's going to change the rest of the way that I view life and my values."

Outstanding in science research, Karin emerged from the experience with a desire to help others facing a life challenge of their own.

"I'm leaning more towards medicine because I want to be able to more directly help people", says Karin.

In that vein, Karin teaches English as a 2nd language and helps disabled adults learn to read.
Proving that this 3-time captain of the Alpine ski team can change it up and still produce outstanding results.

Says Karin, "I still like cross country skiing, it's fun, but, not as fun as down hill."



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