04 October 2022
This month the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) European Training Centre (ETC) hosted some of the world’s leading sporting medical minds with the International National Olympic Committee (INOC) Chief Medical Officers (CMO) Group gathering in Gavirate, Italy.
Starting as an informal online gathering of like-minded national CMOs during the peak of the pandemic, the group continued to meet in the lead-up to the Tokyo and Beijing Games to discuss the complex medical issues relating to all Olympic and Paralympic events.
The key objectives of this group include facilitating information sharing and cross-pollination of new ideas, reducing duplication of effort in formulating medical strategies, strengthening networks for accessing care for athletes travelling internationally and providing peer-to-peer support for CMOs from multiple nations.
For the first face-to-face meeting, the group chose the ETC in Gavirate, with more than a dozen countries represented alongside the CMO for the Paris 2024 Organising Committee (OCOG) and a medical representative from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
AIS Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes said: “The members of the group found the collegial support to be hugely beneficial in the lead up to and during all Games and the meeting in Gavirate was designed to ensure that the benefits of this group continue.
“With the presence of the Paris 2024 OCOG CMO and IOC Medical & Scientific Department, we were able to discuss the plans and key challenges ahead and formulate plans for how this group will interact with the IOC and ensure that other nations can benefit from the outputs.
“There is great optimism that the work of this group will improve the efficiency and thoroughness of Games medical planning and as a result, ensure quality medical care for athletes,” added Dr Hughes.
The visiting delegates were also treated to a tour of the ETC infrastructure led by AIS and ETC staff.
“The delegates were impressed with the quality of the facility, in addition to the extraordinary professionalism and ‘can-do’ attitude of the AIS and ETC staff,’’ said Dr Hughes.