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Wrightsville Beach Magazine May 2013

Anne Allen Dr. athletic to sail a lot of these boats … could make or break my career. I’m going to go.’ especially the Paralympic sailors. She said, ‘That’s fine, go.’ The nice thing about working and living in WBM: When did you know you wanted to be a sports Atlanta … was I got opportunities to work at very medicine doctor? high levels of sports medicine … and then started ALLEN: I don’t know if I ever thought this was totally working a lot with the America’s Cup. going to be my I started developing a lot of the sports medicine career, but I and sailing literature based on the research I was do remember doing. I did that with the Volvo Ocean Race, which when I was 12 is the around the world race, and got on with the years old and Olympics and Paralympics when they came to I was reading Atlanta in 1996. a world record book, and I WBM: How did you become involved in the 1996 wanted to set a Olympics and Paralympics? world record. When I moved to Atlanta I started racing Dr. Anne Allen with Muhammad Ali I thought, well sailboats … and I had started getting involved in at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. maybe that the Olympics and the Olympic sailing program, is not going which at the time was in Savannah. I was also to happen but I’d like to go to the Olympics as an doing the Olympics in Atlanta because I was athlete. Then I started thinking, well maybe I’m not a covering badminton as well. The organizers of the good enough athlete but I’m going to go as a doctor. I Paralympic medical staff came to me and said they knew that at age 12. really wanted me to run the medical event venue at sailing because I sail and because I was a rehab WBM: You were practicing medicine and on staff specialist and understand these disabled athletes. at Emory University in Atlanta teaching spine So I said, ‘Sure,’ and that was the first year sailing and sports medicine. When did you begin think- was a full Olympic sport in the Paralympic games. ing about your passion for sailing from a medical perspective? WBM: What was your role in the Atlanta Olympic ALLEN: I was on a plane reading an article about Games? the women’s America’s Cup team and how they ALLEN: I was taking care of the Philippine Boxing had a trainer who was doing strength training Team. One of my colleagues from the Philippines with them, and then a light bulb went off in my had called me and said, ‘Our boxing team is our only head — I remember the moment — and I think, hope for a medal. They are coming to Atlanta six these women and the America’s Cup sailors have months early. Would you please take care of them?’ sports injuries like all the other sports athletes and That was actually a very difficult time because I no one has ever researched or documented it. was in the park during the bombing. I was one of So I took the Delta magazine, called the editor, three doctors in the park and it’s not something I and asked him how to get ahold of the trainer in the really ever talked about or ever really wanted to go picture, Dick Dent. I get Dick Dent on the phone, into. They wanted me on the “Today” show the who eventually said, ‘Well Doc, I just talked to Bill next day and I said no. There were people calling Koch and basically the only way we can show you how me from around the world saying, ‘Oh my God, we important it is for you to do this research is to get you saw you on CNN International telling the media to out here on this boat, so how soon can you get here? get the hell out of your triage room.’ I went to the department head at Emory where One of the military guys that came in told me, I was on faculty and said, ‘I need to go. If you ‘There’s another bomb, get out!’ And I look at all don’t want to let me go I’m quitting because this these people around me and have to literally say to Top: US Sailors Jen French and JP Creignou won silver in the SKUD-18, two-person keelboat, during the 2012 Paralympic Games. Bottom: Local sailor Alex Streb, left, and Paralympians Tim Angle and Marc LeBlanc, won 34 the Robie Pierce One Design Regatta in Rye, New York in 2009. WBM may 2013


Wrightsville Beach Magazine May 2013
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