TOMMY OWENS '59Ox-'61C-'65D

Drill team

As a medical observer at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, Tommy Owens '59Ox-'61C-'65D was surprised to learn that the more than five hundred visits to the dental facility outnumbered all other medical visits combined. "It seems the most sought-after medical service at any Olympic site is dentistry," says Owens, an Atlanta dentist and the volunteer co-director of dental services for the 1996 Games. "Many athletes come [from countries] with little or no access to dental care, so it's something they seek out while they're here."

Owens will co-direct a volunteer staff of thirty dentists and twelve dental hygienists at a clinic in the Georgia Tech infirmary. The clinic will be open sixteen hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks, beginning two weeks before the Opening Ceremonies. "We're expecting lines waiting to get into the clinic," Owens says. "Because of the volume of people, we've elected to do anything that can effectively be done for one person in one visit: traditional restoration of a tooth with a filling, an extraction, alleviating any discomfort, treating an infection, dealing with a fractured tooth, those types of things."

The longtime start coordinator for the annual Peachtree Road Race, Owens also plans to work as a volunteer at some of the athletic competitions, including the men's and women's marathon, the cycling events, and the racewalk. His wife, Patsy, a 1961 Emory College alumna, is a volunteer liaison in medical planning with the International Olympic Committee.

According to Owens, "My personal objective--and I think this probably rings true across the board in all areas of medical care for the Olympics--is to showcase the quality of health care we have in the United States, including dentistry."

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