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09 Apr 2014
IOC News , Athletes' space

IOC Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness gets under way in Monaco

The 2014 IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport was opened tonight by HSH Sovereign Prince Albert II, Organising Committee Chair Dr Fredrik Bendiksen and IOC Medical Director Richard Budgett. Over the course of the next three days, medical and sports science experts and practitioners from across the world will exchange views and share their latest findings on how to best protect the athletes’ health, in and out of competition.

Looking beyond injuries and illnesses and using a multidisciplinary approach, the objective of the Conference is to transfer academic knowledge on 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.

Athletes’ wellbeing at the heart of the research
Protecting the health of the athletes is central to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Medical Commission, and this mission was highlighted once again by IOC Medical Director Dr Richard Budgett during the opening ceremony. He stated: “Who is this Conference for? It is not for you, not for the IOC, not for the NOCs (National Olympic Committees), not for the IFs (International Federations), but for the athletes, and for all of those who want to take part in sport. The IOC can best help athletes through you, so, for the sake of everyone who wants to be active and stay active, please make the best of this Conference and participate.”

Inviting the participants to enjoy “productive meetings”, Dr Richard Budgett also made a special mention of Professor Arne Ljungqvist, who chaired the IOC Medical Commission from 2003 until March of this year, and is now being succeeded by IOC Executive Board Member Dr Ugur Erdener.

The Conference’s programme, which features over 120 international speakers for keynote lectures, symposia and workshops, covers a wide range of topics from preventing heart-related problems in athletes to exploring innovative field-based injury screening; a debate on whether sports injury and illness research has delivered concrete results; the power of social media in sports injury prevention; and the evolution of footwear and sports equipment in improving performances and reducing injuries, to mention but a few.

Learn more about the Conference at

Background Information
Health risks are inherent to the practice of sport, and protecting the wellbeing of the athletes is a key priority for the IOC. Through its Medical Commission, the IOC has initiated, coordinated and supported research on various topics related to athletes’ health, with the ultimate goal of improving injury and illness prevention. The IOC also records and analyses athlete injuries and illnesses that occur in competition and training at the Olympic Games to gain further knowledge about the effectiveness and weaknesses of existing programmes.

Learn more about the IOC Medical Commission

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