September 16, 2019
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Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes

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International Olympic Committee

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes

Competing at the Olympic level takes an intense physical and mental toll on athletes, and training at an elite level comes with heightened risks of injuries and increased pressure to perform. This has been evidenced by high profile athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka publicizing their decisions to take a step back from elite competition in response to perceived pressures. Elite athletes may also experience depression and other mental health challenges when retiring from their sports. The International Olympic Committee (“IOC”) recently recognized the risks facing elite athletes, making formal statement regarding mental health in 2019. The IOC has also established a Mental Health Working Group to explore tools for assessing and recognizing athletes at risk of experiencing mental health symptoms and disorders.

Because elite athletes often begin training at a very young age, they are also vulnerable to harassment and abuse by coaches and support staff. This abuse could take the form of overly strenuous training, demands that athletes restrict their diets, or, in the extreme, direct physical abuse such as the case involving women’s gymnastics physician Larry Nassar. The IOC has stated that athletes have a right to engage in “safe sport,” but it has also recognized that organizations may turn a blind eye to reports of abuse out of fear of reputational damage.

The challenge the IOC faces is not whether the wellbeing of Olympic athletes needs to be protected, but what role an international organization should have in providing that protection. For example, should the IOC’s influence be limited to the duration of the Olympic games, or should it extend further? How and to what extent should the IOC partner with national organizing bodies on this issue?

Further Reading:

IOC Consensus Statement: Mental Health in Elite Athletes:
https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/53/11/667.full.pdf

IOC Consensus Statement: harassment and abuse (non-accidental violence) in sport:
https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/IOC/What-We-Do/Protecting-Clean-Athletes/Safeguarding/IOC-Consensus-Statement_Harassment-and-abuse-in-sport-2016.pdf

IOC Sport Mental Health Assessment Tool 1 and Sport Mental Health Recognition Tool 1:
https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/55/1/30.full.pdf

IOC Framework for Safeguarding Athletes and Other Participants from Harassment and Abuse in Sport:
https://olympics.com/athlete365/app/uploads/2020/12/IOC_Games_Time_framework.pdf

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Submitted Position Papers

VicksburgDelegates 02/20/2023 22:29:11 192.82.17.160

Topic:
Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Addison Wurfel

The wellness of the Olympic athletes is very valued in Germany. A survey conducted by the Athlete365 community revealed that one in five elite athletes suffer poor mental health. Things like this should not be looked past, mental health can affect the performance of athletes which puts some athletes at an intense disadvantage.
Germany has had 27 athletes compete in the Olympics, all of which have pushed their physical and mental limits to compete in these games. Germany has found that the mental and physical pressures athletes face can cause them to turn to things like drug abuse for support. This is damaging mentally and physically for our athletes.
We must prioritize the wellbeing of our athletes, as there is no Olympics without them. This could include mandatory rest day for mental and physical health, daily wellness check in, not only from physical doctors but also therapists. Taking away funding for certain facilities can go towards funding doctors for these athletes.

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VicksburgDelegates 02/20/2023 21:51:08 192.82.17.160

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Addison Wurfel

The wellness of the Olympic athletes is very valued in Germany. A survey conducted by the Athlete365 community revealed that one in five elite athletes suffer poor mental health. Things like this should not be looked past, mental health can affect the performance of athletes which puts some athletes at an intense disadvantage.
Germany has had 27 athletes compete in the Olympics, all of which have pushed their physical and mental limits to compete in these games. Germany has found that the mental and physical pressures athletes face can cause them to turn to things like drug abuse for support. This is damaging mentally and physically for our athletes.
We must prioritize the wellbeing of our athletes, as there is no Olympics without them. This could include mandatory rest day for mental and physical health, daily wellness check in, not only from physical doctors but also therapists. Taking away funding for certain facilities can go towards funding doctors for these athletes.

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VicksburgDelegates 02/20/2023 19:39:58 68.60.62.34

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Natalie Marietti

International Olympic Committee
Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Brazil
Delegate name: Natalie Marietti
Vicksburg High School

The wellbeing of Olympic athletes is very important to Brazil. Now, the Olympics are very important to Brazil so of course their athletes would be just as important
Their mental health can impact how well an athlete plays, how long they can play, and how they are as people. Mental and physical health are equally important for Brazilian athletes. There should be more IOC influence during the Olympic games.

The mental health of Brazilian athletes wasn’t always as important as it is now. The wellbeing of the athletes were only valued when something was not going right during a game or several games. In 2014, the Brazilian Olympic Committee decided to invest more into psychological preparation and working with athletes. Currently, psychological preparation is fundamental for an athlete’s preparation for a game.

An increase in an IOC influence during the Olympic games could have a positive impact on teams. The wellbeing of countries’ athletes should be number one on their priorities. An addition to having more IOC presence can improve teams efficiency. Mental health is a key to playing sports especially in the Olympics. IOC is greatly appreciated by Brazil.

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VicksburgDelegates 02/20/2023 18:15:37 68.62.67.202

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Norway
Delegate Name: Garrett Wurfel

When it comes to the physical and mental health of their citizens, Norway tends to care about that. This is due to the fact that healthcare is free for anyone under the age of 16, and to any pregnant woman, no matter the cost or age. Norway’s issues are why these issues happen, how to prevent them, and how to slow down the effects of these issues.
In the past, Norway has let Olympic athletes skip entire seasons. An example being Maren Lundby, who skipped the entire Beijing Olympics because of mental and physical health issues. Maren talked about how you have to be light for ski jumping, and that means that you have to have a strict diet. This demonstrates a root problem with some of the Olympic games. People have to alter their body just to be able to compete. Norway athletes have to prepare themselves further in advance, knowing that it’s all up to them to cover their mental and physical health issues. Especially in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with Covid-19 being a big problem back then. Athletes have the ability to back out, or even switch professions in the Olympic games if they ever feel like it.
Norway would like to have more action done to prevent mental and physical issues. Find ways to help the athletes that are in need of help. Finally, Norway would like to find a way to stop the mental and physical health issues of today’s elite athletes

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 23:37:05 73.14.48.55

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Bolivia
Delegate Name: Quinn Suvedi

International Olympic Committee
Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Bolivia
Quinn Suvedi
Forest Hills Northern High School

Elite Olympic Athletes are some of the most hard-working people in the world. Many of them train 24/7 throughout the year, just for a chance to compete at the Olympic level once every four years. Many of them have also been training from a very young age, and are susceptible to abuse. In order to prevent this, the IOC must determine how involved it can be in these situations, inside and outside of the Olympics.

Bolivia has only had seven Olympic athletes compete in the Olympics. However, it too recognizes that athletes must have strong mental health, as well as not infringe on other nations’ rights. Therefore, Bolivia believes that the IOC should have jurisdiction over athletes while they are participating in the Olympics, but during other times, other nations must decide on how to treat their athletes.

In conclusion, Bolivia looks forward to working with other nations of the IOC to find better ways to keep athletes in better mental and physical conditions so that they may compete to the best of their ability.

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WilliamstonDelegates 02/17/2023 18:06:04 170.103.11.20

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: France
Delegate Name: Paige Nichols

It is an undeniable fact that the Olympics pose a great risk to athletes’ mental and physical health. A number of athletes reported having suffered from severe post-Olympic depression, regardless of how they competed in the games themselves. Additionally, athletes are faced with a lack of protection, which exposes them to sexual abuse and harassment. A majority of abuse stems from members of an athlete’s entourage or individuals in positions of power and affects both men and women. While many initiatives have been enacted in attempts to combat systemic abuse, they do not have the international reach required of the Olympics. It is of utmost importance that the United Nations resolve this issue by determining international standards for dealing with athlete-targeted abuse.

Recently, Olympic Gold medalist Sarah Abitbol of France revealed a history of abuse from a former coach, sparking a wave of further accusations from fellow skaters. So far, France has conducted hearings and investigations into the claims and finally determined twelve coaches who have committed abuse or harassment. Abuse is not limited to one sport or nation, and so it is in the interests of all nations to prevent it entirely. Current measures taken by the IOC include the creation of a safeguarding officer, who is present in the Olympic village at all times, and the allocation of power to an IOC disciplinary commission to make decisions on cases of alleged conduct violations such as abuse. The IOC recently launched a “toolkit”, designed to assist both International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees in creating their own policies, but France recognizes that this is merely a set of guidelines without definitive action. Some independent organizations, such as the Safe Sport Commission based in the United States, handle specifically abuse targeting athletes, but face challenges concerning funding and leniency towards perpetrators, bringing into question their effectiveness.

France recognizes the need for cooperation between International Sports Federations and National Olympic Committees along with member states, in order to implement consistent policies for the prevention of abuse. France would recommend forming a subsidiary of the IOC’s athletes commission, which would have the ability to handle reported cases while having international jurisdiction. This subsidiary could enact baseline prevention measures in collaboration with NOCs and IFs for maximum reach. France hopes to find supporters in nations with similar interests making consistent policies to maintain athletes’ well-being, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

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BayCityDelegates 02/17/2023 11:03:39 24.180.218.207

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Finland
Delegate Name: Asher Neville

Concern for the overall health of olympic athletes has grown over the years. Mental health issues have affected up to 35% of olympic athletes with some prime examples including: Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and Amanda Beard who all have experienced large amounts of stress during or after competition. The International Olympic Committee has made multiple reaches to help athletes by installing 24/7 aid and a large number of professional counselors who speak multiple languages. Physical compensation and support are also commonly provided to athletes. Despite the attempts at help, athletes still tend to fall into ruts at some point during their career.

Finland strongly advocates for further support for athletes and their wellbeing. When it comes to responsibility in the IOC, Finland is a core figure that pushes for further advances in athlete support. One way of doing this is creating leadership programs that make efforts to keep athletes honest and happier. Using these leaders also allows athletes to relate more to support workers and not be dragged down by abusive coaches. Another product of Finland’s push for mental support comes with Suomisport which is an app that allows olympic athletes to track goals and not push limits, offering mental notes as well. General Finish support for all athletes from any country is a staple for their olympic committee and further goals have been set. International collaboration sets a good foundation for strength in olympic committees and their athletes, with Finland at the forefront of it all.

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 17:02:34 68.56.158.141

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Chile
Delegate Name: Adelyn Kim

International Olympic Committee
Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Chile
Adelyn Kim
Forest Hills Northern High School

Chile recognizes that Olympic athletes are not getting the welfare they deserve regarding their well-being. No Olympic athlete should be put in a position where they are in need of health aid. While competing there is a multitude of health concerns including local viruses and infections from the host country, contaminated food and water, and sport-related injuries. While Chile has the resources to support its athletes, Chile named the Luminary South American Hospital as its official recovery site for Olympic athletes, Chile identifies that not all countries have this privilege.

Chile believes that athletes deserve access to well-being resources, and along with designated medical help, Chile has also had the opportunity to offer mental health resources. While developing and underdeveloped countries may not have the financial or structural aid required to achieve working conditions, Chile is delighted to support these advances. Last year, in 2022, NOC initiated a new Olympic committee the Chilean Olympic committee which recognizes athletes that may suffer from mental health illnesses. The committee aims to combine both sports and clinical psychology to create a support system for competing athletes. Chile would push for the adaptation of this committee for all countries, as they recognize the importance of mental health alongside the physical well-being of athletes.

Chile advocates for IOC policies that benefit the well-being of olympic athletes, in aspects of both mental and physical health. The COCH may be used as a framework for mental health aid, however, Chile encourages other countries to offer and suggest possible solutions. No Olympic athlete should be in danger of underperformance or harm to physical/mental health due to a lack of resources that the IOC has the ability to provide. The IOC should allow for the revision and reformation of current Olympic athlete well-being procedures, as Chile is in support of these modifications.

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FitzDelegates 02/17/2023 15:50:59 64.88.7.10

Topic: 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.

References
https://olympic.ca/2021/01/28/team-canada-athletes-share-their-mental-health-challenges/

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GreenhillsDelegates 02/17/2023 15:01:46 172.58.140.121

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Delegate Name: Nandan Narayanan

Committee: General Assembly – UN International Olympic committee
Topic B: Well-Being of Olympic Athletes
Country: Syria
Delegate: Nandan Narayanan
Greenhills High School

One of the earliest efforts to promote the well-being of Olympic athletes was the establishment of drug testing protocols to prevent the use of performance-enhancing substances. The IOC began testing athletes for banned substances at the 1968 Winter Olympics and has continued to refine and expand its testing protocols over the years. In addition to drug testing, the IOC has also taken steps to address other health and well-being issues that affect Olympic athletes. For example, the IOC has established medical services at the Olympic Village to provide care for athletes who become ill or injured during the Games. The IOC has also worked to improve athlete safety by establishing rules and guidelines for sports equipment and facilities, and by promoting best practices for injury prevention and treatment. More recently, the IOC has also taken steps to address mental health issues among Olympic athletes. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the IOC established a mental health hotline and a team of mental health professionals to provide support for athletes experiencing mental health challenges.

Syria believes this to be a very prevalent issue. However, we do not have many funds to allocate to this cause because of the recent earthquake. Thus, Syria would be interested in finding a way to increase or better the well-being of Olympic athletes. A possible solution could be to focus some of the funds countries have allocated towards the Olympics towards the health of Olympic athletes. This could be having more immediate healthcare for accidents or programs to help Olympic athletes with their mental health.

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 14:05:51 107.5.3.30

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Australia
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.

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 13:28:30 68.41.93.151

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: United Arab Emirates
Delegate Name: Eva Gavin

Committee: International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Topic :Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: United Arab Emirates
Delegate: Eva Gavin, Forest Hills Northern High School

The UAE is aware of the value of sports in encouraging people to lead healthy lifestyles and to promote the wellbeing among individuals. Our nation is devoted to establishing conditions that let athletes live up to their full potential and protect their general wellbeing.
Athletes get the chance to compete at the greatest level, represent their nations, and demonstrate their abilities at the Olympic games. The competitors’ physical and mental health may suffer as a result of competing in such a demanding event. Thus, the UAE firmly believes that it is the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) duty to make sure that the athletes’ welfare is prioritized during the competitions.
The prevalence of injuries among athletes, which can have long-term effects on their health, is one of the main causes for concern. As a result, it is essential to take action to lower the risk of damage. To do this, the UAE encourages the development of training and competition-preparation programs for athletes. These initiatives ought to offer both pre-event injury avoidance instruction and on-site medical assistance.
The mental health of athletes is another issue that worries the UAE. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems can result from the intense pressure to perform at the greatest level. Supporting athletes’ mental health while they compete is crucial. The UAE is in favor of giving athletes access to mental health facilities, such as counseling and therapy sessions, to assist them with the pressure.
The UAE is also dedicated to encouraging athletes’ safety while competing. These includes steps to stop athletes from being abused and harassed. The UAE thinks it is the IOC’s duty to make sure that all athletes are shielded from harassment and abuse of any kind throughout the games.
Recognizing athletes’ contributions to the Olympic games is also essential. The UAE is in favor of giving athletes financial and other resources so that their efforts are acknowledged and valued. This covers giving suitable financial remuneration as well as other types of acknowledgment, such awards and endorsements.
In conclusion, the UAE holds that Olympic athletes’ health and safety are of the highest significance. In addition to recognizing the athletes’ contribution to the games, we support policies that limit the risk of injury, offer mental health care, and encourage athlete safety. The UAE is dedicated to cooperating with the IOC and all parties involved to make sure that athletes receive the help they require to preserve their general well-being.

Works Cited
“The Olympic Movement and the United Arab Emirates.” International Olympic Committee, 2021, olympics.com/ioc/the-olympic-movement-and-the-united-arab-emirates/.
“Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes.” GLICA.org, GLICA, 1 Jan. 2023, https://glica.org/glica-conferences/simun-2023-conference/simun-2023-committees/wellbeing-of-olympic-athletes/.

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 13:10:43 98.243.156.234

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Switzerland
Delegate Name: Marcos Calderon

Marcos Calderon
International Olympic Committee
Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Switzerland
Forest Hills Northern

While being an olympic athlete can be exciting and fun, many athletes will come into the games with mental issues that have not been addressed. Some athletes have decided to step down from the games like Simone Biles in the 2021 Summer olympics. Although the IOC is not fully to be blamed for the poor check ups for athletes mental health, they do have a big role in it for being in charge of the olympic games.
One of the most things said from athletes after the games, is how pressuring it was in the games and before. Athletes who come into the games are viewed as superhumans making everyone forget that they are just like us who struggle with their own personal issues just how we do. When athletes don’t push through the issues, they are given negative feedback that hurts them furthermore. Micheal Phelps, who has the most gold medals in Olympic history in his documentary “The weight of Gold”, the other side of athletes. The side of how many suffer with depression, grief, substance abused, and as far as suicide from the impact of the games.
The IOC has been pushed more and more every year to make Olympic athletes’ health prioritized first before the games. They made a course available called Athlete365 that gives advice, services, and tools for the mental health of every athlete. They also launched a new sleep course for athletes so they get rested well during the games. They also created the Mentally Fit Helpline to give support for athletes before the games.
Although the IOC has done more and more for the athletes, there should still be more measures taken. There should be more positive support from all the supporters to the athletes instead of expecting too much from the athletes. Athletes shouldn’t be afraid to put their mental health before the games and be able to step down without being called negative names online. There should also be more checks with the coaches and the staff to make sure they aren’t hurting the athletes mentally and instead being there for their athletes. The IOC should also have professional counselors for athletes to be able to talk to if needed.

Works cited
https://www.thenewsmarket.com/news/ioc-expands-mental-health-support-for-athletes/s/f9110363-1d9a-4284-8284-bee010c689eb
https://www.claritychi.com/facing-mental-health-challenges-for-olympic-and-pro-athletes/

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GrovesDelegates 02/17/2023 12:45:13 97.64.61.130

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: China
Delegate Name: Claire Peters

There is a lot involved in being an Olympic level athlete, and it takes a lot to be an elite athlete with enough skill at their sport to play at the Olympic games. Being an athlete at that level comes with increased risk of injury, and far higher pressure to perform well. This can cause a lot of very serious problems like mental health problems, abuse, harassment, and other major issues for athletes.
Although China recognizes that these are major problems and issues for athletes, they are issues that are internal issues for individual countries to deal with. The way athletes are treated are up to the countries they live in and not the International Olympic Committee. Although the International Olympic Committee can partner with other organizations to help with these issues; China believes that the IOC should only have these as suggestions that each individual country decides what they do in their country, rather than having strict UN guidelines. Ultimately the treatment of athletes should be up to the country they live in and the IOC should not get overly involved in individual countries’ business in issues, like the treatment of their athletes.

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 12:28:05 98.209.25.6

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Gabon
Delegate Name: Macie Dow

Committee: International Olympics Committee
Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Gabon (Gabonese Republic)
Delegate: Macie Dow, Forest Hills Northern High School

The high pressure and mental strain of the Olympics affect the performance and outlook of the games as a whole. Gabon is a country that has been actively participating in the Olympic games since 1972 and has produced some remarkable athletes such as Ruddy Zang-Milama, the triple jumper who won a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It is crucial to ensure the well-being of Olympic athletes, as they represent not only their country but also the ideals of the Olympic movement. With the surging amount of athletes who have come forward about their mental health struggles with the Olympics, action must be taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the wellness of athletes. As the games grow, the stress of success weighs heavily on the athletes; this stress not only amounts to mental health hardships but overall performance. Moreover, these issues are primarily caused by coach influence, and the priority of success that is demanded of athletes.
The IOC has attempted to rectify these troubles but requires further research and programs to enact genuine change. Conscious of the troubles of athletes, the IOC launched the IOC Olympian Health Cohort, a program aimed at researching the physical and mental health of professional athletes. While the program aims toward the research of athletic health, the cohort lacks the necessary action regarding mental health and the impact of coaches. Coach’s authority is a major contributor to the well-being of athletes that is widely disregarded in the IOC’s efforts. Athletes’ well-being is directly related to their relationship with coaches, and the demands presented can have a greater impact on the well-being of athletes in comparison to the Olympics itself. The IOC’s framework position for safeguarding athletes from harassment and abuse is a fair start to developing the processes necessary to help athletes, but it is a baseline. Gabon believes that the framework is lacking necessary procedures and guidelines for coach behavior during the training period, not only for the season of games.
Gabon is a strong advocate for the prioritization of health among athletes and citizens. Gabon is in favor of peace and well-being amid the Olympics and has frequently fought for the healthcare of its citizens. Being one of the above-average healthcare providers in Africa, Gabon prioritizes the health of its residents in the country and Olympics. Through the levies on mobile phone companies, Gabon has been successful in developing its healthcare operation anointed Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie et de Garantie Sociale (CNAMGS), a department praised by World Health Organization (WHO) specialists.
To improve the well-being of Olympic athletes during and outside of the games, Gabon believes that the IOC should take action regarding mental health awareness, and coach impact. Gabon urges the IOC to help athletes through proper funding, and developing programs that take in money to help athletic health. These programs should include mental health resources and counseling services, educational programs on injury and rehabilitation, and equal treatment and support. These programs will help shift the overall image of the Olympics, and Gabon is in support of this change. Gabon must prioritize the well-being of athletes to ensure positive and successful outcomes in the Olympics. By implementing these recommendations, countries can support their athletes and demonstrate their commitment to the Olympic movement’s values of excellence, respect, peace, and friendship.

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BayCityDelegates 02/17/2023 10:04:59 174.236.32.160

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Finland
Delegate Name: Brady Falardeau

The safety and health of athletes, no matter what level they may be at, is always one of the most important factors. In the Olympics it is even more important and complicated; the athletes travel from all around the world to a complex with people from every inhabited continent, athletes must also live out of the complex for the duration of the games; causing higher chances of exposure to diseases and/or other potential risks. The Olympics also must keep athletes safe during training and competition times from dehydration, muscle damage, broken limbs, etc. The International Olympic Committee puts both a healthy body and mind at the center of its planning and the functional activities of its games.
Currently, Finland has their athletes trained at the Pajulahti Sports Institute which is the official Finnish National Olympic Training Center. It has been open since 1926 and has been the official training center since 2015. Pajulahti offers sports education, training facilities, conference and meeting facilities as well as fitness and wellness services. Also, Pajulahti, being a large facility surrounded by nature, teaches both indoor and outdoor sports. This proper government-run training program lets the government keep a closer eye on the well-being and the progress of the athletes who are enrolled there, Finland also holds equality to a higher standard than most countries including when it comes to sports. Finland also gives a lot of recognition to the Paralympics (the Olympic Games designed for athletes with physical disabilities).
Finland in the Past has sent athletes to every winter and summer Olympics and has had a total of 480 medals earned by Finnish athletes. Finland subsidizes the training of its athletes to ensure they are trained properly. Before 2015 Finland didn’t have an official training site but did have a lot of places for the athletes to train on their own.

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FHN Delegates 02/17/2023 09:42:12 68.56.158.30

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Alex Mochel

International Olympic Committee
The Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Republic of Korea
Alex Mochel, Forest Hills Northern High School

Since the modern Olympics began in 1896, increasing numbers of countries have participated in every event. The 1904 games saw only 11 countries participate; the most recent games included over 200. Since participation in the games has drastically grown, so has the number of resources available to the host cities and athletes. Typically the housing locations and resources available to the athletes were provided by the cities nearby and out of their own pockets. The first Olympic Village appeared in 1932 and contained kitchens, dining rooms, and large rooms. Olympic games in the 21st century have provided medical resources, easy communication with family, and top-of-the-line training facilities.
Despite this, the resources available to nations directly involved are of their own accord. Host nations that promote the welfare of all nations may provide resources to all athletes regardless of origin, but host nations that support only their athletes may neglect all others. Currently, there is little requirement for any mental and physical health to be provided both in and out of the Olympic Village. Additionally, there is no monitoring provided for direct access to specific mental health resources in the Olympic games.
Larger nations abroad may provide their own well-being resources, but many smaller nations are unable to afford such resources. Korean athletes reported extreme mental health depression leading up to and following the games. Roughly 31% of South Korean athletes agreed to questions asking if their sports severely affected their mental health. They spoke of mounting pressure and criticism from other athletes and training staff to compete in certain ways or achieve certain measures. Additionally, following the games, most athletes experience depression from the results of the games and the time in which they must wait to compete again. In between the games, the only resources available to athletes are ones provided by their training centers or their own accord. In the Republic of Korea, cases of trainers and coaching staff abusing their powers or their athletes have occurred. Here the nation has investigated its own cases and given justice accordingly.
Being the only nation ever to have gone from receiving foreign aid to giving it, The Republic of Korea believes it is of the utmost importance to provide resources and precedent to nations who cannot ascertain these factors in the well-being of Olympic athletes.
The Republic of Korea recognizes that as a state with its own experiences in the well-being of Olympic athletes, it has a strong role in the development of a solution for this pervasive issue. Korea believes that solving this issue will not only benefit our nation’s struggles but also mitigate any potential future issues and allow for an economically safer precedent for the games to be held. The Republic of Korea looks forward to working with these nations and all other interested parties to create a cohesive solution in order to tackle this pervasive issue.

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GreenhillsDelegates 02/16/2023 11:23:36 198.109.141.245

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Hugh Jordan

The Russian Federation believes that the wellbeing of Olympic athletes is of extreme importance and recognizes the need for immediate action to address the challenges faced by elite athletes. The Russian Federation believes that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should play a significant role in protecting the health and wellbeing of athletes beyond the duration of the Olympic Games.
The Russian Federation supports the establishment of the IOC’s Mental Health Working Group, which is an essential first step in addressing the mental health challenges faced by elite athletes. The Russian Federation also supports the development of tools for assessing and recognizing athletes at risk of experiencing mental health symptoms and disorders. The IOC should ensure that these tools are widely available to all athletes and that they receive the necessary support to access them.
Furthermore, the Russian Federation acknowledges that the abuse of athletes by coaches and support staff is a significant concern. It is essential that the IOC takes appropriate measures to prevent such abuses and protect athletes from exploitation. The IOC should collaborate with national organizing bodies to establish clear guidelines and mechanisms for reporting and addressing abuse, with appropriate penalties for those found responsible.
The Russian Federation also emphasizes the importance of addressing the physical health of athletes. The IOC should ensure that athletes have access to appropriate medical care and support for injuries and illnesses resulting from their training and competition. The IOC should also develop guidelines for safe and healthy training practices and ensure that these guidelines are adhered to by coaches and support staff.
In conclusion, the Russian Federation believes that the wellbeing of Olympic athletes should be a top priority for the IOC. The IOC should take significant steps to address the mental and physical health of athletes, prevent abuse, and ensure that athletes receive the necessary support and resources to maintain their wellbeing. The Russian Federation calls on the IOC to work closely with national organizing bodies to establish clear guidelines and mechanisms for protecting the health and wellbeing of Olympic athletes.

“IOC Framework for Safeguarding Athletes and Other Participants from Harrassment and Abuse in Sport.” Olympics.com, https://olympics.com/athlete365/app/uploads/2020/12/IOC_Games_Time_framework.pdf.
“Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes.” GLICA.org, GLICA, 1 Jan. 2023, https://glica.org/glica-conferences/simun-2023-conference/simun-2023-committees/wellbeing-of-olympic-athletes/.

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BayCityDelegates 02/16/2023 11:20:40 136.228.49.44

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Finland
Delegate Name: Lauren Groulx

Every two years, thousands of athletes from over 200 participating countries compete in the Olympic Games. Approximately 25% of these Olympic athletes have reported experiencing mental distress related to their athletic careers. The wellbeing of Olympic athletes must be a top priority for the International Olympic Committee. Finland supports increased emphasis on the wellbeing of athletes and has recently taken action to improve access to mental health resources.

Training and competing at an elite level is both mentally and physically taxing. In Finland, more than 70% of elite athletes have reported suffering from mental health disorders, including anxiety, exhaustion, depression, and sleep disorders. Additionally, 1 in 3 female Finnish athletes have reported experiencing sexual harassment in sporting circles. Finland has responded to these reports by establishing an online Mental Health Hub which offers information, diagnostic tools, and therapy free of charge. These services have been accessed by 545,000 unique users, or approximately 10% of the Finnish population. Finland proposes that the IOC expands on the Mentally Fit Helpline recently used at the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Games. We also support continuous access to this and other similar services, for both current and past Olympic athletes.

Despite efforts by the Finnish government, 59% of athletes said they were not aware of actions taken by their sport’s national association to stop or prevent harassment. Finland believes that current athlete wellbeing initiatives supported by the IOC, such as Athlete365, should be expanded upon and further publicized. Additionally, Finland supports mandating the course entitled “Safeguarding Athletes from Harassment and Abuse,” which is currently strongly recommended for athletes, coaches, and organization members by the IOC. Finland looks forward to working to improve the wellbeing of all Olympic athletes.

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GreenhillsDelegates 02/16/2023 10:20:31 198.109.141.245

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Guatemala
Delegate Name: Alexander Stillman

The Olympic Games have been the highest level of competition in sports since 1896, and continue to be great spectacles of the amazing feats that a person can accomplish when they dedicate themselves entirely to their practice. Unfortunately, the elite-level competition of the Olympics has resulted in some major physical and mental tolls on the health of these athletes. Many athletes have reported severe cases of depression, sometimes becoming so severe that it has inhibited the performance of these athletes, sometimes even preventing an athlete from competing, such as the case of Simone Biles during the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Athletes also can experience mental health challenges when retiring from their sports, as they may feel that they only matter for their accomplishments in the sports that they competed in. The IOC has acknowledged the mental health issues that these athletes face, and as a result have created a Mental Health Working Group to explore possible tools to recognize athletes that risk experiencing mental health symptoms and disorders.
Many of these athletes begin training at an extremely young age, making them susceptible to harassment and abuse by coaches and trainers. This abuse can be in the form of, but not limited to: being overstrained, having their diets restricted, or even physical or sexual abuse such as that in the case of Larry Nassar. The IOC recognizes that to compete on an international level requires extensive training and hard work, but desires to also make sure this major part of these athletes’ careers are in a safe environment. The IOC understands that it is necessary to protect the wellbeing of these athletes, but should also strive to be a partner and a tool for these athletes to assist them in their mental and physical health issues beyond the sixteen days of the quadrennial Olympic Games, as some nations like Guatemala do not have the financial resources to provide this support.

Works Cited
“Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes.” GLICA.org, GLICA, 1 Jan. 2023, https://glica.org/glica-conferences/simun-2023-conference/simun-2023-committees/wellbeing-of-olympic-athletes/.

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WilliamstonDelegates 02/16/2023 09:11:18 136.228.39.189

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Allison Bennett

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic games opened up a deeper conversation on the wellbeing and mental health of Olympic athletes. There was a survey that comprised three sub-sections (psychological strain, participant characteristics and a depression module) concerning mental health, performance issues and concerns over the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was sent to 102 Olympic athletes. Out of these 102, 85 athletes, representing 11 Olympic sports enrolled in this survey. These athletes showed suffering from psychological uncertainty associated with the 2020 Olympic games. This survey further opened the conversation that sports federations should provide ongoing wellbeing support to athletes.
In 2011 the development of sports became the responsibility of the Japanese government due to the enactment of the Basic Act on Sport, the landscape of Japanese high-performance sports has dramatically changed at all levels. However, there had been little discussion about athlete mental health and wellbeing until the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games being postponed. In 2021, it was reported that only 14 articles were available on athletic wellbeing in the Japanese language up to 2019. Gradually more focus is being directed towards the mental wellbeing of athletes as researchers began arguing for the need of support for athlete’s mental health. When Japanese swimmers began returning to their sport, the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) equipped athletes with a summary of steps in the interest of keeping athletes physically and mentally healthy.
At the start of 2020, an international group of researchers and experts held a meeting to conduct a systematic review and establish a consensus on definitions of mental health and wellbeing. Mental health was seen as a dynamic state of psychological, physical and social wellbeing in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines. A holistic model adapted to the Japanese context and social support needed at the system were discussed as well. In order to adapt this model to a Japanese context, the next step will be to understand the needs of these athletes and nation governing bodies of sports and collect insights from them. With these collected insights the Japanese High Performance Sports Center (HPSC) will implement a new management system of high performance athlete mental health and well-being, which will serve as a point of contact and a place to receive help in Japan.

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SASADelegates 02/16/2023 00:00:56 75.129.7.62

Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Abbie Wong

Abbie Wong
Argentina
IOC
Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes
Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy
The protection of Olympic athletes is an issue of great concern, the athletes are what makes the games what they are. Athletes such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, who have chosen to step back from Olympic competition, would not have happened if the IOC was more involved in athletes’ training and mental health monitoring. Of course, the IOC isn’t to blame completely but they do play a significant role, since they organize the Olympics.
The issue of mental health is difficult to address since it is so personal, but it should be part of the IOC’s responsibility to take into account the possibilities that Olympic athletes are facing mental abuse as well as physical abuse. The protection and support the IOC offers should extend to even the off-season periods. The IOC must work with the different nations to make sure their athletes stay healthy and are treated right. The IOC should oversee what procedures individual nations take to protect their Olympians.
Having a hotline available to the athletes to report cases of mental and physical abuse from people such as coaches is important to ensure that they can be dealt with. The hotline would make sure athletes have a way to speak up for themselves, since in many cases victims find they cannot report their abusers. The IOC should also provide counseling, if needed, for the athlete. Punishment of the abusers must also be carried out, creating a safer Olympic community. If they’re aware that they could face punishment then the abusers would be less likely to act. Background checks of important figures such as coaches, health professionals, and managers should be done to protect athletes as well. Background checks are important because they give insight into what kind of person the one being checked is. It can reveal many things such as possible past allegations of abuse.

Works Cited
“IOC Framework for Safeguarding Athletes and Other Participants from Harrassment and Abuse in Sport.” Olympics.com, https://olympics.com/athlete365/app/uploads/2020/12/IOC_Games_Time_framework.pdf.
“Topic: Wellbeing of Olympic Athletes.” GLICA.org, GLICA, 1 Jan. 2023, https://glica.org/glica-conferences/simun-2023-conference/simun-2023-committees/wellbeing-of-olympic-athletes/.

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