Better Care

Birmingham Community Healthcare dentist to carry Olympic flame

Pan Taneja, Olympic Torchbearer
Speciality dentist in oral surgery Pan Taneja has been chosen to be an Olympic Torchbearer

A Birmingham Community Healthcare dentist has been chosen to perform the coveted role of Olympic Torchbearer.

Pan Taneja, speciality dentist in oral surgery at Birmingham Dental Hospital, has been picked from thousands of nominees to play a part in history, by taking part in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

A friend of Pan’s nominated him after seeing an advert on TV appealing for ‘people with a passion’ to be nominated as torch bearers. Pan was chosen for his passion for charity, having raised money to get himself to Vietnam where he helped to give school children dental treatment by restoring or extracting teeth.

Pan said: “Many school-age children in Vietnam will never see a dentist but basic checks and restoring/removing teeth can help prevent more serious dental problems in later years. We set classrooms up as dental clinics and used work tables as dental chairs and head lamps to shine into their mouths – we saw about 700 children in five days!”

In addition to this, Pan has done several half marathons for various charities such as Willing and Abel, ANTS, Oral cancer awareness and Stepping Stones Nigeria, to name a few and has a 10K run in Whipsnade coming up in May.

Despite such a dedication to charity, Pan was surprised to hear he’d been chosen as one of the 8,000 UK torchbearers taking part in the relay. “I got a pack thought the post and thought it was a free toothbrush, which I really needed at the time! When I opened it, it was an official torch bearer badge and a golden letter. I was delighted, it will be such an honour to carry the Olympic torch. I also recently found out that I will get to keep the torch that we run with as a memento of the occasion, which is great.”

Pan will join other inspirational members of the public, celebrities and sports personalities in carrying the Olympic Flame. In 70 days, the relay will cover every county of the UK, every Local Authority area in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and every Borough in London. Pan will be running his 300 metre section of the relay in Solihull on 1 July.