How fortunate to have been able to take part in the medical organisation of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) as head of the Olympic Village Medical Clinic and Medical Education Programme manager, while introducing some innovations to the Games!
From a clinical point of view, the temporary creation of a high quality interdisciplinary medical clinic provided all participants aged 14 to 18 years old with global and equitable care. We adopted the WHO criteria to offer an adolescent friendly setting.1
We gave a special focus to teaching in order to emphasize the transmission of knowledge. A continuous education programme (article by Gard) facilitated the creation of new connections between the numerous medical staff and the sharing of expertise in the field of adolescent sports medicine.
Involving numerous students in our medical team was a great success; they had the privilege of actively participating in the various aspects of sports medicine for adolescents, in turn working at the medical clinic, integrated into the health care teams in the field of play (article by Goto), and finally as public health ambassadors for the youth. Their end-of-course report speaks for itself, as their enthusiasm did during the event, as summarized by Marion Claret. The internship was validated as official training by the Faculty of Medicine.
A significant energy has been invested in prioritising prevention and health promotion. We were able to develop several awareness-raising and practical prevention activities for young athletes, which was made possible thanks to a consistent transversal collaboration with our institutional partners from the public sector (University of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, EPFL) and to the support of the Department of Health and the Sports Fund of Canton de Vaud, These activities explored sensitive but frequently under-reported or poorly known areas in greater detail, such as concussion or abuse in sport.
The medical clinic innovated by offering dental check-ups and confection of personalized mouthguards. This was a major success, with more athletes screened in Lausanne than during the London 2012 Olympic Games (article by Broome).
All these innovative developments in the area of prevention were made possible thanks to the strong support of Dr Richard Budgett, IOC Medical and Scientific Director, and the deep trust placed in our team by the General Management of the Organising Committee of the YOG Lausanne 2020.
Health for Performance, as detailed by Gojanovic in his article, was the philosophy underlying the complete clinical management and medical prevention for adolescents during the YOG Lausanne 2020. The period of choice for conveying these recommendations and the positive values of healthy sport is adolescence, so we need to shape the messages in the right form to effectively reach this particular age group and enable them to achieve and sustain their healthy sporting objectives in the long term. We hope that the number of dropouts from physical activities and sport during adolescence will decrease as a result, and that sport will remain for these young adults an essential value throughout life, for themselves, but also an essential one to pass on to the next generations.
The future is now! As we envisioned long before the YOG, we hope to build on the experience gained during this extraordinary albeit ephemeral sporting event, and on the innovative tools developed for the best young international athletes to make them available to all teenagers. We will continue to work on the public health topics developed for the YOG and look forward to develop others that are just as essential, such as questions related to nutrition or mental health, for example. Some of these new health prevention strategies will be implemented during the next Summer YOG in Dakar 2022, where the challenges will once again be multiple and exciting.
- Deputy Chief Medical Officer
YOG Lausanne 2020
Department and head of the
SportAdo consultation at the CHUV
- Senior medical manager
IOC Medical & Scientific Department
- World Health Organization. (2012). Making health services adolescent friendly: Developing quality national standards for adolescent friendly health services. Geneva