Where do Olympians get their teeth cleaned? For women’s high jump competitor Priscilla Frederick-Loomis, the answer is Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC). In fact, Frederick-Loomis lauds RCBC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic so much that she drives all the way from her home in Wildwood, New Jersey to Mount Laurel to get her cleanings and other services.
So, how did it all begin? Like most interactions in our COVID era, digitally. After RCBC Dental Hygiene student Amy Deluhery listened to one of Frederick-Loomis’ podcast episodes in February, she reached out and offered a free cleaning. The podcast struck Deluhery when she heard Frederick-Loomis discuss the financial strain that Olympians face, as companies look to sponsor only top-three athletes.
“She talked on the podcast about how she’s saving nickels and dimes to make it to the 2021 Summer Olympics and continues to work toward her dream,” Deluhery said. “So I reached out to her via Instagram and explained that I’m currently in dental hygiene school, and I would give her full dental hygiene care for free if she was interested.”
To Deluhery’s pleasant surprise, Frederick-Loomis accepted.
“I knew she was a dental student, and I wanted to help her out in any way I could,” Frederick-Loomis shared. “I had been researching Invisalign, and she informed me that it’s always important to upkeep dental hygiene before considering orthodontic work.”
To date, Frederick-Loomis has received x-rays, a full cleaning and there are plans in the works for a polishing at RCBC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.
“The experience has been incredible! Everyone has been an absolute pleasure,” Frederick-Loomis said. “Amy and her supervisors have been very helpful and informative, and they have taught me better ways to take care of my teeth.”
Frederick-Loomis, who’s represented Antigua and Barbuda in the 2016 Olympics, has now set her sights on competing for the gold medal in the 2021 Summer Olympics in Toyko. As a Black female, she’s seen her fair share of challenges, but she’s used her voice and platform to speak up against inequities and unfair standards. She was featured in a CNN piece on eating disorders and body image issues, as well as an NJ.com article about the harsh financial reality many Olympic athletes face.
“I’ve faced a lot of challenges throughout this journey,” Frederick-Loomis said. “Racism, financial hardships, not being sponsored, body image issues, mental and physical distress, just to name a few, but it also helped me grow and appreciate the life I’ve been given.”
To call Frederick-Loomis ambitious would be a gross understatement. Aside from adhering to a rigorous training schedule, she started her own nonprofit The Priscilla E. Frederick Foundation, works as a morning radio host for 98.7, keeps busy with her cleaning and home organization business FLAWLESS and has even carved out time to host her podcast “In Our Prime” with her husband and co-host, Ken.
“We cover everything we go through in our marriage, as well as celebrity news, world news, sports and more,” she said. “Nothing is off-limits. We also have the opportunity to interview guests about their journeys to success and ask if they are in the prime of their life. Nick Wright, Marcellus Wiley and Tara Schuster have been our first three guests, but we also have Olympic coaches, Nike athletes, actresses and musicians in our upcoming lineup, so we are excited for this journey!”
As for her future plans, Frederick-Loomis hopes to begin stunt school, so she can pursue acting and appear in a Marvel film. She also aspires to take up bobsled and possibly compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics for Antigua and Barbuda.
Her broad message to students is to maintain focus while pursuing their dreams.
“Stay confident in your journey, and don’t allow other people’s opinions of you to affect you; other people’s opinions are none of your business,” Frederick-Loomis shared. “Be courageous and chase after everything you want. Easy will never get you your dreams; be prepared for tough lessons, but know every lesson makes you stronger and ready for when you arrive at your dreams!”