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Healthcare challenges at an Olympic Games
  1. Richard Budgett
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Budgett, Medical & Scientific Department International Olympic Committee, Château de Vidy, 1007, Lausanne, Switzerland; richard.budgett{at}

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Athletes and their support staff, International Olympic Committee (IOC) family, technical staff, contractors, volunteers, sponsors, media and spectators all are essential participants in the biggest festival of sport in the world. They all need healthcare, but the priority for the IOC and any organising committee of an Olympic Games (OCOG) is protecting the health of athletes. The demands of athletes are particularly great because of the unique nature and pressures of the Games. The Olympics should be a 4 year peak of fitness and health, but is at the same time a peak of stress.

The key to providing healthcare at an Olympic Games is good preparation and prevention with integration into all the other functional areas of an OCOG, as well as working with healthcare providers outside the Olympic Games environment. The Games are a mass gathering with all the public health risks and issues that …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.