WOA Launches Landmark Health Study At SportAccord

By Community | April 19, 2018

The largest ever global study into the long-term health of athletes has been launched by the World Olympians Association (WOA) at this year’s SportAccord Summit in Bangkok.

Led by university sport injury professor and former Olympian, Dr Debbie Palmer, the landmark initiative is targeting more than 10,000 former competitors who no longer compete at an elite level. The move has the full support and backing of the International Olympic Committee.

The project intends to generate ground-breaking data on the long-term health of Olympians and identify the risk factors associated with elite-level sport in this area.

WOA President Joël Bouzou, International Ski Federation Secretary General, Sarah Lewis and World Rowing President, Jean-Christophe Rolland, announced the study’s launch at the Bangkok Convention Centre. Rolland and Lewis, both former athletes, are the first two Olympians to complete the health assessment.

WOA President, Joël Bouzou, said: “We are proud to launch WOA’s Olympian health study, which will greatly enhance the limited existing knowledge of the long-term health impact on Olympians. Our aim is to use this analysis to inform evidence-based recommendations and best-practice guidelines to benefit Olympians and other elite athletes.”

Dr Debbie Palmer, of Edinburgh Napier University, added: “Elite athletes are known to be exposed to high impact training and competition loads, leading to increased physiological demands that can be associated with a heightened risk of injury. This study seeks to better understand what those risks are and how they can be mitigated.”

The project is being promoted to all International Federations at the GAISF General Assembly tomorrow.