Mack L. Clayton, M.D. - Athlete - 1999

Dr. Mack Clayton was an orthopedic surgeon who moved to Denver in 1952 and founded the Denver Orthopedic Clinic (now part of Denver Orthopedic Specialists). He began skiing in 1953. He was always interested in sports medicine, prevention, and treatment of injuries. In 1956 Mack was co-organizer and speaker at the first postgraduate course on sports medicine in the U.S., which was given at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1957 and 1958. In 1958, he was awarded first prize for research on “Experimental Investigations of Ligamentous Healing.” This was the first reported observation on how injured ligaments heal with or without surgical treatment. A subsequent article was published in 1968. This has turned out to be a landmark paper in the modern treatment of many ACL ski injuries. Dr. Clayton was an organizer of the Front Range Doctors' Ski Patrol in the mid 1950’s. This volunteer organization provided volunteer physicians at ski areas on weekends, holidays and some weekdays. While serving as supervisor for Arapahoe Basin (12 years) and Breckenridge (five years) he also assisted the professional ski patrol in obtaining their (EMT) Emergency Medical Training. Mack participated in the first postgraduate course on winter sports injuries during the American Medical Association meeting in 1961. Since then, Dr. Clayton has given numerous lectures and published articles regarding the treatment and prevention of ski injuries. As a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Traumatological Society in 1958, and president in 1962, he participated in the society's report on skiing and other winter sports. In the early 1960’s he was one of five original investors in the Steamboat ski area, then called Mt. Werner. He served as medical consultant to the local ski patrol before there was a resident orthopedic surgeon. In the late 1960’s, he served for a year as the medical consultant to the Colorado chapter of the National Ski Patrol. At this time he was also the doctor for two NCAA championships at Steamboat and the team physician to Denver University ski team. In 1970, Dr. Clayton was one of the Founders of the U.S. Ski Team physicians, and traveled to Europe with the Team in 1971. As a physician member of the U.S. Ski Team and referral source in Denver for the ski team for a number of years, he received a special award in 1976.   (Deceased)