The Life of Coley Oliver
Coley Oliver is a University of New Hampshire alum with an athletic training degree who has assisted top female ski racers achieve their goals. Currently he works with Olympic medal contender Mikaela Shiffrin as both her coach and strength and conditioning specialist.
Coley’s bacteria-based immunotherapy approach was widely disapproved of by mainstream medicine. But he persisted, and eventually it worked.
Early Life and Education
Coley continued her active participation in civic and community affairs after her marriage, including membership in Alexander City Rotary Club, Alabama 4-H Club Foundation board membership, Lyman Ward Military Academy faculty membership and founding membership on Horseshoe Bend National Military Park Administrative History Committee.
Without formal medical training, she explored and published her father’s research on mixed bacterial toxins compiled in his archives. With no prior medical training herself, she conducted meticulous data compilations that are still relied upon by cancer researchers today.
Helen faced many hurdles in her efforts to bring Coley’s work into mainstream medicine. Most notably, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads of Memorial Hospital held firm to his belief that chemotherapy and radiation treatments were superior means for treating cancer.
Coley Oliver had always dreamed of becoming a doctor. Now working in Nashville at a cancer research laboratory, Coley is helping create cutting-edge pancreatic cancer research that may soon impact treatment approaches.
Oliver wasn’t expecting to find himself coaching Olympic medal favorite Mikaela Shiffrin when he joined the US ski team last May, but he brought years of collegiate racing experience from UNH Wildcats and academy coaching experience from Stratton Mountain School and Team X Alpine with him to Beijing as his Olympic training ground.
Coley is also an active volunteer within his community, having held board membership on several Jacksonville nonprofit boards and organizations, participating in nonviolent civil disobedience training at Whitman College, and taking an interest in both community development and social justice issues.
Achievement and Honors
Oliver, a former All-American alpine skier for the University of New Hampshire, now is part of Team X Alpine, which specializes in supporting elite-level female racers. He assists head coach Mike Day and Eileen Shiffrin (Mikaela’s mother) with race coaching duties; additionally, Oliver acts as her strength and conditioning coach.
Coley Oliver’s J2 (15-16) athletes earned several accolades last season at the 15-16 level, such as most improved for Kaylee Cortopassi and Avril Dunleavy; top performers Foreste Peterson and Sydney Staples; hard chargers Avril DuPratt and Bridger Clifford; coaches’ award for Jake Railton; as well as 100% attendance record, which marked its highest attendance mark ever! Additionally, this team maintained 100% attendance all season – an unprecedented accomplishment within Coley Oliver history! Additionally, they achieved 100% attendance all season – its highest mark ever!
Coley was an integral member of Alexander City, regularly giving presentations at local schools and serving on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People board of directors. Additionally, she belonged to Church of Christ in America where she actively took part in Bible studies at her church.
Coley’s research was highly controversial and she often faced criticism for her beliefs. Unfortunately, her attempts at raising funds and scientific support fell on deaf ears; furthermore, her correspondence with Dr. Rhoads became increasingly hostile, discrediting her as an effective scientist.
Oliver plays an invaluable part of Shiffrin’s entourage and brings extensive collegiate racing, academy (Stratton Mountain School) coaching experience and college teaching expertise to her role as part of Team Shiffrin.