The IOC Olympian Health Cohort
US swimmer Simone Manuel during aquatics training at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

About the project

A comprehensive study, funded by the International Olympic Committee, to examine Olympian health during and after their sporting careers will provide insights that could benefit health outcomes across elite sports.  

Our aims

Much is known about Olympian health from In Games injury and illness surveillance studies, and there is a growing body of knowledge on what happens to elite athletes when they retire from sport. However little is known about Olympian health during the whole of their sporting careers.

The aim of the Olympian Health Cohort is to recruit and establish a cohort of current Olympians competing in the summer and winter Olympic Games, in order to follow them prospectively throughout their Olympic careers and into retirement. The objective being to better understand the magnitude of musculoskeletal and also other health and wellbeing issues in Olympians.

This information will be used to inform evidence-based targeted interventions to help mitigate some of the short and long-term risks associated with elite sport participation. To improve the health of all Olympians, both during their careers and after their retirement from competitive sport.

Marathon medallists Eliud Kipchoge and Abdi Nageeye hug after competing at 2020 Olympics

The project's research team are drawn from academic, medical and professional sports institutions.

Brazilian swimmer Cesar Cielo Filho of Brazil celebrates victory in the pool at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Sport injury, illness prevention and the protection of athlete health are key mandates for the IOC.

Bart Swings of Team Belgium celebrates his gold medal on day fifteen of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games

Find out how you can contribute to the study. 

USA runner Allyson Felix  competing at 2020 Olympic Games

Browse our publications from 2017 to 2022.