One Of Oklahoma's Own To Carry Olympic Torch

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012, 5:54 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa doctor is training for the Olympics, sort of.

Dr. Bob Block, M.D. is a man on a mission. He's got the support of his family, especially 3-year old grandson Brennan, as he prepares for a very special but brief run.

"Well, I'd like to say it's two to three miles to be really impressive, but it's about 440 yards," said Block.

Block is headed to England. He's been selected to carry the Olympic torch as it makes its way through the Oxford area en route to the opening ceremonies.

As he trains for the honor, he holds up a 10-pound weight. It's to help him prepare for the weight of the torch, which is actually much lighter.

"There are 8,000 people who are torch bearers so it's an honor to be among that group," Block said.

Dr. Block was chosen through his role as president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The organization sponsors one of the torch runs as an effort to raise awareness for children's health.

"We rank toward the middle or bottom of a lot of children's health issues among the developed countries," said Block.

He said, during an election year, it's especially important for voters to think of children's health when they go to the polls.

"Children can't vote, so children's issues are often overlooked in political agendas, and it's our responsibility as pediatricians, as parents, as grandparents - just as citizens - to recognize that children's health is not only important for children but serves as the foundation for adult health as well," Block said.

Block said he is excited about his three-minute Olympic run and hopes it inspires others to support children's health.

"We certainly don't want to detract from the real athletes that are going to be in the games but, you're right, it is an exciting moment just to be over there and be in the crowds for just a little while," he said.