With the 2010 Olympic Games complete, Team USA triumphantly returned to The States this week having earned a record setting thirty-seven Olympic medals. Seven of those medals came from an unusual collection of athletes from different sports and different parts of the country, whose common ground was the surgical expertise of Cary M. Silverman, M.D. of OCLI. In the months leading up to the Olympics, Silverman performed LASIK vision correction surgery on a collection of 2010 Olympic hopefuls, at no charge to the athletes, and the results for Team USA were eye-opening. Silverman’s patients earned nearly 20% of Team USA’s record total including one gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
“I’m thrilled for our athletes, and for all of the athletes who so graciously represented our country in Vancouver,” said Silverman. “To have played a small part in helping these athletes be at their best when they needed it the most has been an incredible honor for me and the entire team here at OCLI.”
In the prelude to the Olympics, Silverman created Team LASIK-FOR-THE-GOLD, offering his surgical services to any 2010 Olympic hopeful athletes including Chad Hedrick (speedskating – silver and bronze), Erin Pac (bobsled – bronze), Molly Engstrom (hockey – silver), Katherine Reutter (short track – silver and bronze) and Curt Tomasevicz (bobsled – gold).
Reutter became the first US woman in 16 years to win an individual Olympic medal in the action packed sport of short track speedskating when she captured the silver medal in the women’s 1000 meter event.
“The medals represent years of hard work, discipline and focus and I am thrilled beyond belief,” said Reutter. “It took a whole team of people to help me realize my dreams and Dr. Silverman and everyone at OCLI were a part of that team. At the Olympics, I no longer had to worry about contacts, solution or even glasses. I saw better than ever and I’m pretty excited to be looking clearly at a brand new pair of Olympic medals!”
One of the more noteworthy successes of an OCLI patient was undoubtedly that of bobsled driver Erin Pac. Not considered a likely medalist before the Olympics, Pac faced one of the toughest challenges of The Games – maneuvering a 400 pound sled down the fastest bobsled run in the world. Reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph on a track that overturned countless sleds in both the mens’ and women’s fields, Pac’s steady hands and sharpened vision brought her and teammate Elena Myers their first taste of Olympic hardware.
“The track in Vancouver is ridiculously fast so of course clear vision was more important than ever,” said Pac. “It was the thrill of a lifetime to stand on the Olympic podium and I’m so grateful to everyone at OCLI for the help in making my Olympic dream come true.”