Dr. Oden paged for another hall of fame | AspenTimes.com
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Dr. Oden paged for another hall of fame

Naomi Havlen

Is there such thing as being honored in too many halls of fame? Not for Aspen resident Dr. Robert Oden.This week, Oden will be inducted into the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Hall of Fame. Only 17 other doctors have received the prestigious honor that began in 2001.Just two years ago, Oden became part of both the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame and the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame for his extensive contributions to sports medicine. Specifically, he initiated the U.S. Ski Team doctors pool in 1968, recruiting and training physicians to travel with the ski teams to provide medical assistance.He was also appointed to the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1960, 1972, 1976 and 1980, and was chairman of the Medical Committee for the Aspen Winternational. In 1995, he was inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame.Oden, now 82, moved to Aspen in 1957 and established the resort’s first local orthopedic practice. His Orthopaedic Associates, which still helps this active community recover from various injuries, was the first orthopedic clinic on the Western Slope, he said, serving Aspen, Vail, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.He also helped establish the Vail clinic, which now competes for business with Orthopaedic Associates in Aspen.”The main reason for this award is not to laud what I’ve done, but it’s able to say to the people in Aspen, ‘See, we do have an outstanding orthopedic group here,'” Oden said. “I don’t want any personal accolades on this, I just want people to realize what great care they have here in Aspen.”The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine will honor Oden at its annual meeting on Thursday in Quebec City, Canada. Dr. Oden will head there on Tuesday with his grandson, Zachary.He is one of three physicians being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.”It’s one of the society’s highest honors – it’s quite prestigious, and only the crème de la crème of AOSSM members get into this,” said Camille Petrick, the society’s managing director, in Chicago. “You have to be retired, and you have to have had a major career in sports medicine.”But Oden said everything he’s done in his career came simply out of a love for the job and for being able to bring injured people “back to as close a shape as God created them in the first place.”My dad was a professor of surgery at the University of Illinois, and he always told me to pick something you love to do, and go somewhere you love to live,” Oden said. “That’s exactly what I did. I loved every moment of it. It was a great pleasure to do orthopedics and help people.”Oden now spends the winters on Captiva Island in Florida, fishing, reading and relaxing. A decade beyond his official retirement, he still sees former patients when he gets back to Aspen in the summer.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com


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