Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Delegate Name: Aanya Dogra
International Olympic Committee
Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
The Commonwealth of Australia
Aanya Dogra, Forest Hills Northern High School
“Mental health is a key component of overall health and wellbeing” states the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Mental health is a very prevalent issue in our time. One does not have to be diagnosed with a clinical disorder to feel the negative effects of mental health, especially the kind that stems from pressure. Athletes like Majak Daw and Wayne Schwass have shed light upon the negative mental aspect of being a prestigious athlete. However, mental health can also stem from abuse in training and the environment around an athlete.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has launched the Wellbeing Series 2022 which aims to support athletes’ well-being. In this series, “Olympians and experts in the field will share their mental health journeys in livestreamed shows and across Australian Olympic Team social channels under the series theme of #TackleTogether.” Not only does this series help athletes, but it also helps the Australian community know they are not alone. It was found that 46% of elite Australian athletes experienced at least one mental health problem and initiatives similar to Australia’s Wellbeing Series combat this. Australia believes that if given the opportunity to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle, all players will benefit and have more potential to do well in their respective sports. Abuse has also been acknowledged in the Olympic games throughout the world, but in Australia, it is prevalent in gymnastics. As Australia and other countries have suffered from athletes being harmed, action must be taken. The IOC, in partnership with national bodies, should have a role in enforcing and protecting the safety of athletes, especially during the time the Olympic games are occurring. However, to truly advocate for the athletes, protection may have to be given outside of the Olympics. Most of the unhealthy thoughts or abuse occurs post-Olympic-phase (POP). Study shows that when Australian Olympic athletes’ performance met prior expectations, and when support from a variety of sources was readily available, athletes’ well-being during POP increased. When these factors were not in place well-being was compromised. In order to maintain the best conditions for all athletes, no matter origin or race, measures will have to be put into place and Australia looks forward to initiating this process with other nations and parties.