September 16, 2019
 In Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes

Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Kaya Dragan

The courage it takes for an athlete to perform at different countries all around the world to win gold is something that is incomparable. Participating in the Olympic Games is a wonderful opportunity. Canada strives themselves on promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of Olympic athletes. Although some Olympians have communicated their distresses within the Olympic games, stress with mental health and physical health. “…the sense of dread I felt during the summer when our team camps were being canceled and facilities in Toronto and Calgary were being closed. I felt a sense of hopelessness, like ‘what’s the point of doing all of this anymore?” – Cynthia Applan (Nichols).

Canada recognizes and commends the IOC for developing and releasing the new application that was created for Olympians on how to improve mental health, how to meditate and other resources, called Athlete365. But we ask, is this enough? Olympians all around the world, including Canada, still mention how the games can be harsh on their wellbeing. For example, in recent years we have found a 55% rise of sexual abuse and misconduct with over 1,000 open cases and 2,000 closed cases. As countries, protective of our athletes, we should ask ourselves why is this happening and how can the IOC make sure our athletes are performing at their peak and are also in safe conditions to compete? When does the IOC step in to support their athletes when a situation arises and becomes extreme? With COVID-19 interfering with the games, pausing and halting training for athletes, the athletes have communicated their worry and stress on how they will be able to perform without the necessary training. When a game is canceled, as previously mentioned, athletes feel drained, almost incomplete. This is why we ask, how do we ensure the certainty of competition with COVID-19?

Canada believes that the IOC as a whole can launch a new program for Olympic Athletes. Athlete365 was a step in the correct direction, but this app lacks the necessary certainty and in-person understanding of a real conversation. We propose an in-person and online seminar based on new and better ways of keeping up with your well being as an Olympian. This could include new methods of struggling with the depression of losing, taking care of your body, and a safe space to speak about harm that might’ve been done to an Olympian. Canada also compliments the IOC on the ”Safeguarding Athletes from Harassment and Abuse” course, but also supports the mandation of the course. Canada is looking forward to working with fellow delegates to determine the best route to benefit the wellbeing of Olympic Athletes.


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