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06 Feb 2014
IOC News

Athletes’ health at the forefront of the 2014 IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport

Shortly after the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, team physicians, physiotherapists, and medical science and sports experts from across the world will convene for the 4th IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport. Looking beyond injuries and illnesses, the Conference, set to take place from 10 to 12 April in Monaco, will explore risk factors, mechanisms and effective prevention strategies to ensure that athletes are fit and healthy, in and out of competition.

We caught up with two world renowned experts from the IOC Medical Commission: its Chairman and IOC Honorary Member, Professor Arne Ljungqvist, and member of the Medical & Science Group Professor Roald Bahr, to get some insight into the Conference and what the participants can look forward to.

“It has been three years since we last convened in Monaco, and research in injury and illness prevention has since led to major advances in the field,” stated Prof Arne Ljungqvist. “This third edition of the Conference will then be an opportunity to present all this new information.”

Roald Bahr, a Professor at the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, added: “The Conference will feature one highlight after the other, starting with the dynamic duo of Prof Dohmnall Macauley and Prof Karim Khan, [BMJ/BJSM editors] discussing the latest progress in injury prevention, and ending with a session on how advances in equipment and technology can help prevent injury.” 

With over 120 international sports and medical experts lined up as speakers, the three-day Conference is composed of:  five keynote lectures, including a vigorous debate on whether sport injury and illness research has delivered concrete results;  the role of evidence-based concussion prevention and the evolution of footwear and sports equipment in improving performances and reducing injuries; 24 focused symposia addressing a range of topics from preventing heart-related problems in athletes to exploring innovative field-based injury screening; 86 workshops; and 73 abstract presentations.

Prof Arne Ljungqvist said: “We think that the participants will find that the programme is full of daily highlights, and the challenge will be to decide which of the eight concurrent sessions they wish to attend.”

Questioned on what is most attractive about this year’s World Conference, Roald Bahr suggested: “How it aims to bring coaches, athletes, health practitioners and sports scientists together, demonstrating that injury and illness prevention is a true collective and collaborative effort!”

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the objective of the Conference is to transfer academic knowledge on injury and illness prevention strategies to the field of play, in order to minimise the risk factors in sports participation and maximise safety for high-level and recreational athletes alike. 

“We have solid evidence to show that injury prevention works in most sports”, concluded Prof Arne Ljungqvist. “We know however that there is gap that needs to be filled, in terms of translating knowledge into action. The Conference acts then as an invaluable platform of exchange, which brings the world of sport and sports medicine together and, hopefully, helps us bridge this gap.”  

Register for the Conference here 

Visit the official Conference website for more information and the complete programme at:   

 Learn more about the IOC Medical Commission


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