Local surgeons off to Sochi for Olympic Winter Games
Two orthopedic surgeons at Port Moody's Eagle Ridge Hospital are heading off to Sochi, Russia next week to look after the medical health needs of the Canadian Olympic Team.
Dr. Bob McCormack will be the chief medical health officer for the Canadian Olympic team and physician for the curling team while Dr. Dory Boyer will be working with the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton teams.
Both surgeons are experienced sports physicians who are looking forward to helping some of the biggest names in Canadian sports.
"It's a rush to be at a place where people are performing at such a high level. This is where they come to achieve their hopes and dreams," said Dr. Boyer, a Vancouver resident.
Dr. McCormack, a New Westminster resident whose daughter calls him an "Olympic junkie," is a frequent member of Canada’s medical team at international events: He was Canada’s chief medical officer at the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games and at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. In each role he was responsible for the medical preparedness of Canada’s Olympic Team.
Dr. Boyer has applied his skills as a physician and surgeon at a dozen multi-sport games, including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, working with VANOC, and was in Russia this past summer for the World University Games.
Next Wednesday, they head to Russia to prepare for their job, leaving behind their practices at ERH and at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
It will be their challenge to keep athletes and support staff healthy and injury-free — a difficult job given the competitive nature of the athletes as well as the challenging winter conditions. "It's trickier," Dr. McCormack acknowledged. "There's speed and the hard services and injuries are a big part of it."
Neither is worried about about security, however, having already been to Russia numerous times. Both are confident the country is up to the challenge of providing a well-organized and secure Olympic winter games.
They'll be living in dorms and eating the same buffet meals offered to the athletes. The working conditions for the volunteer postings aren't glamourous, but there are perks.
They'll be in the middle of the action with a view of the games that few get to enjoy. It's a thrill, both say, and they can't get enough of it. "We get to watch the best athletes compete at the highest level possible and help the Canadian team reach their highest goals," Dr. McCormack said.
And if Canada's Winter Olympic athletes add to their 26-medal haul from four years ago, so much the better.