IOA sets up medical and sports science team for Paris Olympics

IOA sets up medical and sports science team for Paris Olympics

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has formed a 13-member panel of sports science experts who will travel to Paris to offer health and wellness support to the travelling Indian athletes. Headed by Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the group consists of two physicians, three injury management professionals, three sports physiotherapists, two sports masseuse, two mental conditioning experts, two nutritionists, and a sleep therapist.

Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala will head the 13-member team of sports science experts that will travel to Paris for the Olympics (X)
Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala will head the 13-member team of sports science experts that will travel to Paris for the Olympics (X)

The team will be stationed at the recovery centre in the Games Village, a first-of-its-kind 600 square feet facility that will be equipped with all the necessary recovery equipment.

“This is the first time that such a high-profile team of sports science experts will be accompanying the team at the Olympics. The recovery centre is another first. All top-performing nations such as the US, UK, and Japan have such a facility for their athletes,” a senior IOA official informed.

Nine of the 13 experts, including Dr Pardiwala, will have the accreditation to stay in the Athletes Village while the rest will stay outside. Those staying outside will operate on a day pass that will allow them access to the Village between 10am-5pm.

Members of the sports science team will start arriving in Paris from July 19. Hockey, boxing, and archery teams are expected to land in Paris on July 20 and will have their first training session a day later.

“The sports science experts would have taken charge by the time the athletes hit the ground for their first session,” the official said.

The recovery room will have two inflatable ice baths, each enough to accommodate six people, Normatec legs and arms (recovery suits), two cooling units, three recliners, six massage guns, compression wraps, among others.

The star attraction, however, will be three sleep pods designed for athletes facing sleep issues due to pre-event stress. “Sleep is the most important part of recovery and PT Usha, being a former athlete, realises that. Sleep pods are an excellent addition as a number of athletes have, in the past, complained of sleep-related issues,” the official said.

All equipment, barring the sleep pods, have been purchased by IOA and will be distributed across various SAI centres or NIS Patiala after the Games. The pods are being rented from a French company and will be operational from July 18 – August 12. The cost of the three pods for the duration of their use is approximately 7000 euros while the entire cost of the medical support is approximately 1.35crore.

“The sleep pods will be assembled on July 18 while the physios and other experts will reach on July 19. The recovery centre will begin operations on July 20, the day hockey, boxing, and archery teams land in Paris,” the official said.

The sports science team travelled to various SAI centres and training venues to acquaint themselves with the Olympic-bound athletes. The experts visited NIS Patiala, SAI Bengaluru, SAI Sonepat, Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi besides visiting wrestlers in Rohtak and Hisar. Additionally, Dr Pardiwala has conducted four online sessions with the athletes to brief them about the recovery centre and other protocols.

Full list of sports science experts:

Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala (chief medical officer), Brigadier Dr Bibhu Nayak (sports medicine physician), Dr. Tvisha Parikh (sports medicine physician), Christopher Pedra (sports physiotherapist), Dr. Samir Parikh (psychiatrist), Dr. Divya Jain (sports psychologist), Aradhna Sharma (nutritionist), Mihira Khopkar (nutritionist), Dr. Monika Sharma (sleep therapist), Ronak Kothari (sports physiotherapist), Sumansh Sivalanka (sports physiotherapist), Vijay Kamboj (masseuse), Ms Matto (masseuse)

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