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Democrat Photo by Lori Brown

DR. DON SIMKIN holds some of his souvenirs from his recent trip to the Olympic Winter Games in Italy. The stuffed toys he is holding are the official mascots for the games, the blue one is called Neve (meaning snow) and the red one is called Gliz (meaning ice). Simkin also shows off his souvenir hat, T-shirt, and medallion.

Manor's Dr. Don
Enjoys Olympics

By Lori Brown
LIVINGSTON MANOR — February 24, 2006 – One of Sullivan County’s most well- known dentists, Dr. Don Simkin, recently returned from his trip to the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
Simkin was in Torino – which is “Turin” in English – from the first day of the games, Friday, February 10, through last Friday, February 17. During that time he enjoyed watching luge, figure skating, and speed skating competitions.
Of course, he was always ready to assist the USA teams or their sponsors in any way.
“Torino was an amazing city,” Simkin commented. “It is a great location, as it is rich in culture and history.”
He added that “just a few towns over, there were beautiful ski slopes.”
Simkin believed that everyone should behold this radiant city.
The Manor dentist, who has hosted the “Dr. Don Games” for local children each summer for several years, has attended eight Olympic Games. Prior to the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Ga., he carried the Olympic torch through Mamaroneck.
Simkin was just one of three people selected to carry the torch in New York State that summer. He was chosen for that honor after being nominated through the United Way’s community hero program.
“Carrying the torch was such a thrill,” he said.
The first time that Simkin saw the sport of luge was when he went to the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Ever since that moment, Simkin was very interested in this sport, and wanted to participate in it. He started “sliding” in 1986.
Simkin and his 12-year-old son Vinny are members of the Adirondack Luge Club. Vinny has been “sliding” for three consecutive years and has also been in various competitions. Last year, he won a bronze medal in a luge competition.
This weekend, father and son are going to be competing in the Empire State Games in Lake Placid. Dr. Simkin is hoping that Vinny will earn a spot on the development team, which will lead him to becoming an Olympic hopeful.
Accompanying Simkin on his recent trip to Torino were his wife, Ellen Singer, and two of his friends, Dmitry Feld and Gordie Sheer.
Feld was involved with “sliding” in his native Yugoslavia, but is currently working in marketing. He has helped many freestyle skiers and luge competitors come to the United States to receive training for the Olympics.
Three years ago, he coordinated an effort to gather a shipment of toothbrushes and dental floss to send to Iraq.
Sheer was the silver medalist in the doubles luge competition at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Simkin, Singer, Feld and Sheer enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics together.
This summer, Simkin plans to again host his Olympic-like “Dr. Don Games” in Livingston Manor. He has held these games for 11 years and said that he hopes he can continue them every year.

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