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[EDITOR'S NOTES]

Fitness and Olympic Medicine for All

THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 30 - NO. 2 - FEBRUARY 2002


As the world looks toward Salt Lake City this month, it's satisfying to note the direction of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC's) new leadership. IOC president Jacques Rogge, MD, of Belgium, elected last July, favors a simpler Olympic Games and a greater focus on the athletes' health.

It is nice to hear the IOC leadership echoing a theme that The Physician and Sportsmedicine has trumpeted: a medical model of sports medicine compared with a sports model. This also ties in to the focus of this special issue. We bring you not only Olympic-caliber sports medicine news (see News Briefs), but all our clinical topics revolve around a common theme, what we're calling "Olympic medicine for all."

One resounding success in sports medicine is how our experience with Olympic and other elite athletes has helped primary care physicians treat everyday patients. Examples in this issue include a new international concussion statement (page 57), prescribing exercise for older patients (page 19) and for after childbirth (page 31), and treating contusions and myositis ossificans (page 41). Sports medicine allows us to use the same principles to treat a quad contusion in an Olympic hockey player and in a 45-year-old weekend rugby player.

Speaking of older rugby players, I find it encouraging that the 59-year-old Dr Rogge carries not only a medical degree to his new position—he's an orthopedic surgeon—but also a firsthand affinity for high-level sports and competition. He has played rugby for the Belgian national team and has competed in sailing in three Olympics (1968, 1972, and 1976).

Also, Dr Rogge has stated that at Salt Lake City he'll stay in the Olympic village with the athletes instead of a luxury hotel as has been the custom. He hopes to reduce the bloated overhead associated with the Olympics so that countries in Africa and South America and other less wealthy cities can host the Games.

From a medical standpoint, he has vowed to increase, not decrease, the fight against doping. And to the France-based International Herald Tribune, he expressed his vision "to have a more humanistic sport, where the individual is better protected in terms of his health."

For this health-first approach, we applaud Dr Rogge and the IOC. We know you've been using it in your practice for years.

Best,
Gordon O. Matheson, MD, PhD
Editor-in-Chief


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