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Olympic Games: Special Considerations—Medical Care for Olympians

  • David J. Pohl
  • Garrett Schwartzman
  • Mark R. HutchinsonEmail author
  • William Moreau
  • Roald Bahr
  • Robert McCormack
  • Juan-Manuel Alonzo
  • Andre Pedrenelli
  • Roberto Nahon
Chapter

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to present and review the unique challenges that the sports medicine clinician may face regarding the Olympic Games and Olympic-level athletes. Specific anatomic injuries as well as sports-specific injuries have been covered elsewhere in the text. Several factors make the Olympic Games a unique event regarding sports medicine care. It is not only one of the largest mass sporting events in the world; it often represents the penultimate competition of an athlete’s career. Unique challenges include acclimatization to a new country, travel, geography, foods, and language. The athlete not only has pressure from their coach and the fans of that particular sport but also a global audience and the pressures coming from stress related to representing their country. From the medical planning and organization perspective, the Olympic Games is a multisport, international, and mass sporting event. For the host country, the organization must provide optimal communication, transportation, and facilities to care for thousands of elite-level athletes. For national organizations, preparations can begin years in advance of the games and include planning how dependent they wish to be on the host country’s medical plan; which facilities may be used in case of emergencies; what equipment, staff, and medications will be necessary to retain independent care of their own athletes; and arranging local licensure, contacts, and training facilities for its athletes throughout the course of competition.

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Copyright information

© ISAKOS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Pohl
    • 1
  • Garrett Schwartzman
    • 1
  • Mark R. Hutchinson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • William Moreau
    • 2
  • Roald Bahr
    • 3
  • Robert McCormack
    • 4
  • Juan-Manuel Alonzo
    • 5
    • 6
  • Andre Pedrenelli
    • 7
  • Roberto Nahon
    • 8
  1. 1.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.United States Olympic CommitteeColorado SpringsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sports MedicineOlympiatoppen, Norwegian Olympic Training CenterOsloNorway
  4. 4.Canadian Olympic TeamTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Qatar Olympic TeamDohaQatar
  6. 6.Past Medical Team for Spanish Olympic and Track and Field TeamsBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.Team Physician Brazilian Olympic Team and National Men’s Soccer TeamRio de JaneiroBrazil
  8. 8.Brazilian Olympic Medical ServicesRio de JaneiroBrazil

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