When Dr. K.B. Park, the founder and CEO of MegaGen Implants, served as a torchbearer in the 2018 PyungChang Winter Olympic Game torch relay in late 2017, it spoke to the longstanding connection between the dental profession and the Olympic spirit.
According to the MegaGen social media posts, Dr. Park spoke of the “great honor” and noted that he was:
“Happy to be part of a bigger game!”
Korean sports and entertainment stars were present to greet the Olympic flame’s arrival in the host country’s city of Incheon on November 1, 2017, and since then it has continued on its path. Eventually it will arrive in PyeongChang for the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games on February 9.
Dr. Park joined in on Dec. 31 when the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay spent the last of its three days in the city of Daegu, which lies 300 kilometer south of the capital, Seoul. The Torch Relay wrapped up its 2017 campaign in the city, bidding farewell to the old year with a traditional bell ringing ceremony at the city’s National Debt Redemption Movement Memorial Museum, which was followed by a fireworks display.
According to pyeongchang2018.com:
“People from all walks of life can participate as torchbearers regardless of their age or gender. As such, torchbearers convey the message that ordinary people can embody the lofty ideals of the Olympic movement. Each runner bears the torch for 200 metres.”
Learn more about the history of the torch: https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/torch-relay/olympic-torch-relay/history
Follow its path: https://interactive.olympicchannel.com/map/index.php
From the 1900 Olympics in Paris to a dental practice in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
A handful of Olympic athletes exemplify excellence and dedication in both competitive sports and oral health care, including Dr. John Walter Beardsley Tewksbury.
- American track and field athlete Dr. John Walter Beardsley Tewksbury earned five medals at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris including two gold, according to https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/te/walter-tewksbury-1.html
Tewksbury graduated from Wyoming Seminary, a prep school, in 1896, and then earned a dental degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1899 and after his Olympic success, he opened a practice in his hometown of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania where he treated patients for 34 years.
According to the same source, when Dr. Tewksbury died in 1968, he was the last known American survivor of the 1900 Olympic Games.
Almost a dentist?
Nine-time Olympic champion, competitive swimmer Mark Spitz, though never earning a dental degree, was enrolled at Indiana University from 1968 to 1972 as a pre-dental student and was accepted to dental school, according to deardoctor.com.
In a TIME Magazine interview from 2011 he stated,
“I always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972. I was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities. I did some television and speaking engagements, and things just went from there.”
Read about a few more Olympic athletes with a passion for dentistry: https://mywhitedental.com/olympics-dentistry/
Tune into coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics for plenty of athletic prowess and gleaming smiles, and just for fun, keep an eye out for connections to the dental profession: https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018