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Vista ER doctor on duty for Olympic Games in Sochi

VistER physician Dr. Timur Kouliev served 2008 Olympics Beijing now is Sochi Russifor Winter Games.  | Courtesy VistHealth System

Vista ER physician Dr. Timur Kouliev served at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and now is in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Games. | Courtesy Vista Health System

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Updated: March 22, 2014 3:50AM

Emergency medical physician Dr. Timur Kouliev will be representing Waukegan’s Vista Medical Center East during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Kouliev, 36, has been an Emergency Medicine physician at Vista for six years. This will be the first Winter Games and the third Olympics overall for Dr. Kouliev, who also served in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

He will be on duty around the clock to provide vital medical services for one of the world’s biggest sporting events. He is serving as the Olympic coordinating physician for medical operations for NBC and also a member of the U.S. Olympic Team’s medical staff.

“It’s a great thing to participate in,” said Kouliev, who is already in Russia preparing for the event. “NBC is a very professional organization that has a long history of providing the Olympic Games coverage. They do it extremely well, and working with them to bring a great product is really a joy.”

The 5,665-mile journey to Sochi, Russia, is virtually halfway around the globe, but for Dr. Kouliev, it’s a chance to return to his home country.

“It’s great because I get to make a contribution to both countries that I care about,” said Kouliev said. “Sochi is a resort city, and basically no English is spoken there at all.”

Kouliev is fluent in Russian and English, as well as French, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese, and said he is comfortable working almost anywhere around the world.

He first learned about the opportunity to work at the Olympics after he returned from the North Pole in 2008 on a medical expedition. Joining NBC’s medical staff in Beijing and London exposed him to different types of medical conditions and injuries.

“When I started to look at emergency medicine, my interests weren’t only in the clinical setting, but also in the difficult and remote locations,” he said.

Kouliev will remain in Sochi for the entire Olympic Games and then return to Vista East at the end of February. It will be a short trip home — in March, Kouliev is off to the Antarctic for another medical expedition.

“Dr. Kouliev is an amazing world traveler who is dedicated to caring for people in every corner of the world,” said Barbara Martin, president and CEO of Vista Health System. “He’s a highly skilled emergency medicine physician who is universally liked and respected by our patients and staff. We will miss him while he’s away, but we’re very proud to have him represent Vista at this year’s Winter Olympics in Russia.”

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