The pandemic has had a devastating impact on athletes’ readiness cycles, as coaches and professionals have had to reorganize plans to maintain health, physical and psychosocial well-being. The challenges were many and varied: unavailability of facilities and equipment for training, prolonged absence from competition, precariousness to persist in a context of uncertainty, with a strong familial and emotional social impact on all. There have been athletes training in the garage or at home for months, however, bringing Olympic medals, diplomas, and personal and/or national records.
Specialized clinics participated with great enthusiasm in the treatment of athletes, some of them seriously injured, who recovered and with tremendous effort achieved signs for participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo – 2020. What we see behind the scenes, in trainings and in our office, in Portugal and the world, leads us to praise and admiration, without reservations Or ill-considered criticism, with the commitment and commitment of all athletes. Participation in the Olympic Games is, in and of itself, an extraordinary feat, only within the reach of an exceptional elite.
In the case of injuries, the attention to recovery processes continued normally, thanks to the work of institutions, orders and associations that supervise the practice of health professionals, as well as clinics and hospitals, which quickly developed and implemented infection prevention protocols adapted to the pandemic context. And that without compromising the quality of the recovery.
Having arrived in Tokyo to compete, their resilience, determination and talent have been evident in the best Portuguese performance ever, during more than 120 years of the modern Olympic Games.
Since 1924, we have 28 medals, 5 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze. In a workout for these Olympics, we compare well in medals/population ratio with the United States or China and less well with Italy or Norway.
Elite sport’s success results from multiple factors: demography, culture, executive policy, quality of health and exercise professionals, federation interference and contextual factors. It is important to observe and think about good and evil in order to act and have the courage to influence the future. The statistics aren’t deceptive, and the 28 medals, four of them in these games, fuel our ambition for a better future. Champions, winners and those who do everything to compete are an opportunity and an example for the country, because they promote messages in favor of the sport. It inspires and is the driving force to bring together amateur practitioners and, in time, professional sports merit.
The World Health Organization highlights that about 43% (77% for DGS) of the Portuguese do not do enough physical activity. Portugal is the eleventh country in the world with the highest prevalence of physical inactivity. Herein lies the real problem and we are not the best platform!
Calculations made for demographic, health and disease indicators, it is necessary to plan, verify, train and compete to ensure future successes. The Olympic emblem has been adapted to “Faster, higher, stronger – together.” We must have a voice in standing up for the basic principles and core values we want for our society.
There is no imperative or impossibility that prevents us, as a country, from improving children’s exposure to physical exercise and sports, in the family, at school, in clubs and in many other places. There is enough will, drive and investment and we will have gold in the health of our young people for the future.
Congratulations to our Olympians!
“Unapologetic analyst. Infuriatingly humble coffee evangelist. Gamer. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Student. Entrepreneur.”