Greg Wells imageWhile he trains and studies elite athletes, Dr. Greg Wells wasn't quite prepared for the demanding auditions to become a regular face on CTV and TSN during the Olympics. "Auditioning was long and tough but extremely exciting," says Dr. Wells, Staff Scientist, Department of Anesthesia, Toronto General Hospital. "It was also had some huge benefits. Scientists don't often get to work on their public speaking skills and it's so important to learn how to communicate our research."

As the competition whittled down 20 doctors to two, Dr. Wells slowly realized that his dream of sharing his love of sports and science with Canadians could become a reality. And, last August, when he received the call that he was the winner, television jitters were far from his mind. "Strangely enough, I'm not nervous at all, just excited," he says. "As a scientist in health care, you become passionate about understanding the human body. The Olympics is the ultimate laboratory to see how the human body works in extreme conditions."

Greg Wells running imageAn expert in human physiology, Dr. Wells will be seen in 12 two-minute pre-recorded segments during the Olympics. These segments will explore the science behind winning in the events and also how injuries can occur. He will also provide on-air commentary during the games. "The Winter Olympics are a game of ice and snow, and most sports will be really fast, with extremely hard surfaces," Dr. Wells says. "These conditions are risky for the athletes and they will be pushing themselves to the absolute limits. It also makes it thrilling to watch."

While his research focuses on elite athletes going for the gold, Dr. Wellsalso studies children with chronic diseases. While they may appear completely different, the inner workings of the body in extreme conditions and in chronic disease are similar. One example would be the connection between athletes performing at high altitudes and children with cystic fibrosis. In both cases, the lungs are compromised and understanding the mechanisms behind them could improve performance and treat the disease at the same time. "More and more, we are seeing exercise as a key part in the understanding and treatment of disease," Dr. Wells says.

Asked about future on-air opportunities, Dr. Wells stresses that he's only focused on the task at hand: "I'm a sports fanatic and I love my research. I'm thrilled to be able to share insight into how the body works and be part of this amazing event."

The UHN website will be linking up with Dr. Greg Wells' daily blog during the Olympics.​

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