www.fina.org

The FINA Sports Medicine Web Pages are designed to provide team physicians and allied medical support staff with up to date medical and scientific information to guide their daily care of the aquatic athlete.

Coaches, athletes and parents can also use these pages to answer their questions regarding aquatic health issues.

FINA Soprts Medicine Committee

Sports Medicine Congress



Articles

Travel in the Aquatic Sports

Aquatic athletes participating in international competitions often have to deal with the effects of long distance air travel and changing time zones. Long distance flights can cause changes in circadian rhythms and the sleep-wake cycle. For many athletes, this leads to jet lag, a condition characterised by sleep loss, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and reductions in energy, alertness and overall thinking.

Circadian rhythms are internally driven variations in an individual's biological and behavioural functions that cycle over roughly a 24-hour period. They can be modified by bright light, darkness, the hormone melatonin, and exercise, but the light-dark cycle of the environment seems to have the strongest influence.

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Nutrition Training : “Fuel in the tank”

Training is more than the hours in the pool.  The athlete and coach have to plan for the work in the pool to be successful. That success includes a nutritional plan or “nutrition training”. Please remember that all the recommendations may be affected by chronic disease states, medications, cultural norms and requirements.

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14th FINA World Championships - Shanghai 2011: Medical and Doping Control Programmes

The World came together in Shanghai for the 14th FINA World Championships in July of 2011. 178 of the 202 National Federations were represented making this the best attended FINA World Championship ever. 2165 athletes participated in the five aquatic disciplines of diving, water polo, synchronised swimming, open water swimming and swimming. Diving and Water Polo were held in separate pools, while synchronised swimming and swimming were held in the same pool, with synchronised swimming occurring in the first week of the Championships followed by the swimming events. Together this made for a spectacular three facility aquatic complex with an open air stadium for diving and indoor stadiums for water polo and a shared venue for synchronised swimming and swimming. Open water swimming was set at Jinshan City Beach which featured a 1.5 square kilometre man-made enclosed salt water basin.

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Sports Medicine in our National Federations: the case of developing countries

Developing countries face many health-related challenges in providing competitive opportunities for their aquatic athletes. In many cases the challenges to athletic development and success are a reflection of those present in the culture or nation generally. Several points will be covered in this article:

- Improving the health of the athlete and the availability of health care for athletes
- Focus on preventative health care
- Maximisation of limited resources to improve performance and health
- Ongoing training on the topic of doping control, to include situations that would place athletes at risk of a positive test

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Legacy of the Youth Olympic Games - “Excellence, Friendship, Respect”

The global television audience and local fans were entertained by the world’s elite youth swimmers and divers during the 1st Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in August 2010. The athletes enjoyed a high level of competition in beautiful competition venues cheered on by enthusiastic local crowds of local fans and school children. They also participated in a cultural and educational programme which addressed important health issues for the developing aquatic athlete amongst other themes depicting the values of Olympism. The medical and anti-doping programmes during the Youth Olympic Games provided excellent support services for the athletes as well as valuable educational opportunities. The youth aquatic Olympians enjoyed a healthy event, experiencing very low incidences of injury and illness.

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Hypothermia Risk in Open Water Swimmers

Open Water Swimming presents additional challenges to athletes due to the environment, even for those who are capable long distance swimmers in the pool. The injury risk is much greater than for general swimming and one of the most serious concerns is due to hypothermia. Officials and coaches should be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and be able to access appropriate medical care to ensure athlete safety. Athletes too have a responsibility to ensure that they are adequately prepared and in good health to undertake an Open Water Swimming event.

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Preventing Injury: Young swimmers are not “little adults”

There is an adage in sports medicine that “the child is not simply a little adult”. And nowhere is this comment more relevant than in aquatic sport, in particular swimming, where training usually begins at an age before bones, muscles and joints have matured. If the progress of a young swimmer is too rapid, the training load too intense or poorly monitored, the risk of injury increases.

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