The Summer Olympics are Here! …So Let’s Talk Winter Olympics

Written by Dr. David Evans   Last modified on August 14, 2018

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got Olympic fever. The Summer Olympics are right around the corner with the world’s top athletes descending upon Rio in August. So I figured what better time to talk about the Winter Olympics.

I was recently in New York with the family for a bit of R&R, and had the opportunity to hit the golf links out in the Hamptons with my friend, Dr. Gregory Pamel. He’s a world-renowned LASIK and vision correction specialist based in NYC, and a damn good golfer! He’s also got an Olympic connection. Dr. Pamel is the official LASIK provider for the U.S. Speed skating team.

Vision is essential for athletes regardless of their particular sport. Athletes with poor visual acuity are not able to reach their true potential. So it’s no surprise that many of the world’s top athletes have opted for vision correction procedures like LASIK. (I actually wrote about Rory McIlroy’s positive experience with LASIK surgery back in January.)

Many athletes wear contacts to help improve their vision, but this isn’t ideal for every sport. Take speed skating for example. Speed skaters travel at staggering speeds that can reach up to 45 miles per hour. If you wear contact lenses at that speed, your run the risk of them being dislodged by the force of the wind, or flying completely out of the eye. Even if the lenses aren’t dislodged in any way, the high winds can cause dry eye which can lead to serious discomfort and distorted vision for contact lens wearers. The last thing you want to be concerned about when competing is eye pain or diminished vision. So for athletes like speed skaters, LASIK makes perfect sense. The minimally invasive outpatient procedure can be performed in a matter of minutes, with results and recovery achieved in a matter of days, meaning that you don’t need to take precious time away from training.

Dr. Pamel has performed LASIK surgery on 10 U.S. Olympic speed skaters and they couldn’t be happier with the results. Olympic Silver Medalist skater Chris Creveling noted that “the LASIK really affected my skating in a great way. It was always a battle when I had eyeglasses on and to speed skate like that is just a big pain.” Skaters no longer need to worry about dealing with eyeglasses or contact lenses after having LASIK and instead can focus on what really matters: competing for the Gold!

A large number of top athletes are making the decision to have LASIK, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a professional to see the benefits. If you’re an avid golfer or skier, or have any other athletic passion in which visual acuity is imperative, and wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to compensate for poor vision, perhaps LASIK surgery can be a life-changing option for you. It can have a direct impact on sports, but it can also change your everyday.

Read more about LASIK surgery

Hear the success stories from all 10 athletes Dr. Pamel treated: