Every week there seems to be another example of sport and politics mixing in an unsavoury fashion. Whether it is one more FIFA delegate being implicated in a corruption scandal or a star athlete accused of doping, it would appear to be a given that sports articles feature on both the back and front pages of newspapers. But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. CONQA Sport explores the often tumultuous relationship between sport and politics and discovers that if history is anything to go by, these two key representations of the human identity will forever be linked.
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Athletes are more than just individuals who have forged a profession in a field they love, they are ambassadors of a nation and carry the hopes and dreams of millions. You would think governing bodies would do all they can to help them. You'd be wrong. Sunette Viljoen, the South African javelin thrower who recently won a bronze medal at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championship, has spoken out about how the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee ( SASCOC) treats the athletes who are part of their Operation Excellence (OPEX) programme. One can only hope that she will be the first of many.
Every day, scientific breakthroughs change the world we live in and the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to stay ahead of the ever steepening curve. Elite sport is a cutthroat and competitive environment where only the best survive. As a result, sports technology is proving to be the difference in many close contests. CONQA Sport speaks to Mounir Zok, the Senior Sports Technologist at the Unites States Olympic Committee (USOC), and finds out that it is still the human element that ensures success in a world hurtling towards to the future.
Every coach and manager has to implement innovative and creative strategies in order to stay ahead of the field. Most elite teams have scores of advisers, specialists, coaches, and opinion makers; all of whom need to be focussed towards a single vision. It is no different for those responsible for the athletes’ fitness and well-being. Wayne Diesel, the Sports Performance Director for the Miami Dolphins, discusses why managing the philosophy within the medical team is vital to success on the field.