Science and Medicine – Rio 2016

December 8, 2014

The second Rio 2016 Team Ireland Sports Medicine and Science Conference was held in Malahide on the 5-6th December 2014.

The conference was run in collaboration with the Irish Sports Institute and Sports Institute NI.

It was an opportunity to share best practice and up date on Olympic Games planning particularly regarding science and medical issues.

The Conference theme “Optimising Health to Maximise Performance” included stimulating debate in the following areas:

“Melatonin for the masses – sleep aid or supplement” Joe Conway
“The drinking debate – to drink or not to drink” Caroline MacManus
“Keeping in tune for maximising performance” Tadhg MacIntyre
“Load/fatigue monitoring in athletes – does it work” Declan Gamble
“Gluten free – the next silver bullet” Catherine Norton
“Warm-up – a role in potentiating performance” Tom Comyns

There were also update sessions on the key challenges and solutions to Rio specific issues, together with a “fit to perform policy” debate.

Key objectives for 70+ service providers in Olympic sport high performance programmes who attended were:

Community Building and Ownership – bring the core medical and science community working with the Olympic sports together
Knowledge Exchange – provide a forum for sharing of knowledge and information
Olympic Focus – Update on preparations for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016
Medicine and Science – revisit the Medicine and Science Strategy for Rio 2016 and other major Games
Key Dates – identify programme of events and key dates up to Baku and Rio 2016

Thanks to all of the organising team, speakers, delegates for an excellent 2 day conference.

Science and Medicine Strategy 2013-16

The OCI Medical and Science Rio Strategy Group document and work programme is aimed at the delivery of Medicine and Science services for the Rio 2016 Olympics, building on the success of the London Strategy. The group consists of Professor Sean Gaine (Chair), Dr Rod McLoughlin, Aidan Woods, Dr Giles Warrington, Sharon Madigan, Niamh Fitzpatrick , Ciara Losty, Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty, Stephen Martin and Martin Burke

Specific Objectives:

To further develop and enhance established systems and structures which enable the OCI Medical and Science team to work seamlessly with the National Governing Bodies of Sports, The Irish Institute of Sport (IIS) and Sports Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI).
To review the defined roles, responsibilities and functions of each member of the OCI Medical and Science team and ensure they are effectively communicated to all members of the Irish Olympic Team and their wider support network (i.e. athletes, coaches, team leaders, performance directors and medical and science support personnel).
To develop medicine and science specific strategies that address the medical and science challenges of a multisport team participating in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.
To ensure the entire team have all the medical and science information required to perform to their optimum (development/collation of necessary information based on needs analysis) and the dissemination/communication of same (communication strategy).
To develop people with the capacity to provide a professional and quality based medical and science support service to Team Ireland at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which is athlete centred, ethically based and seeks to enhance performance.
To establish a multidisciplinary training camp prior to the Rio Games for the optimal preparation of the Irish team.
To develop a review process to enable the OCI to evaluate the performance of its own medical and science processes and working with the Institute of Sport and Sports Institute of Northern Ireland develop a process to debrief and support athletes in the post games period.
To create a legacy building model of leading medicine and science practice for future Olympiads.
The OCI Medical and Science service provider conference of December 2013 was attended by 65 service providers from IIS, SINI and National Federations. Future conferences are planned for 2014,15 and 16 with key themes

December 2014 ‘Optimising health to maximize performance’
December 2015 ‘Psychological preparation for Rio,
April 2016 ‘Peaking for Performance in Rio’.


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