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Concept: Ancient Olympic Games



Kikuchi, N, Min, S-K, Ueda, D, Igawa, S, and Nakazato, K. Higher frequency of the ACTN3 R allele + ACE DD genotype in Japanese elite wrestlers. J Strength Cond Res 26(12): 3275-3280, 2012-In this study, the authors investigated the association between the ACTN3 and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) genotypes and the performance of 135 Japanese elite male wrestlers. Fifty-two wrestlers had participated in world championships, including the Olympic Games, or had placed first in Japanese national championships and were classified as “international.” The remaining 83 wrestlers were classified as “national.” The control group consisted of 333 healthy Japanese college students majoring in physical education. In the ACTN3 genotype distribution, a significant difference between the international and control groups was observed (p < 0.05). The ACE genotype distribution and allele frequency of all wrestlers significantly differed from those of the control subjects (p < 0.001). As compared with the control group, the odds ratio of the ACTN3 R allele + ACE DD genotype being international or national was 3.85 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.10-7.03) or 1.37 (95% CI, 0.79-2.36), respectively. Our data suggest that the combination of ACTN3 and ACE gene polymorphisms is associated with the athletic status of Japanese elite wrestlers.

Concepts: Scientific method, Gene, Genetics, Genotype, Allele, Evolution, Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games


There are strong genetic components to cardiorespiratory fitness and its response to exercise training. It would be useful to understand the differences in the genomic profile of highly trained endurance athletes of world class caliber and sedentary controls. An international consortium (GAMES) was established in order to compare elite endurance athletes and ethnicity-matched controls in a case-control study design. Genome-wide association studies were undertaken on two cohorts of elite endurance athletes and controls (GENATHLETE and Japanese endurance runners), from which a panel of 45 promising markers was identified. These markers were tested for replication in seven additional cohorts of endurance athletes and controls: from Australia, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, Poland, Russia and Spain. The study is based on a total of 1520 endurance athletes (835 who took part in endurance events in World Championships and/or Olympic Games) and 2760 controls. We hypothesized that world-class athletes are likely to be characterized by an even higher concentration of endurance performance alleles and we performed separate analyses on this subsample. The meta-analysis of all available studies revealed one statistically significant marker (rs558129 at GALNTL6 locus, p = 0.0002), even after correcting for multiple testing. As shown by the low heterogeneity index (I2 = 0), all eight cohorts showed the same direction of association with rs558129, even though p-values varied across the individual studies. In summary, this study did not identify a panel of genomic variants common to these elite endurance athlete groups. Since GAMES was underpowered to identify alleles with small effect sizes, some of the suggestive leads identified should be explored in expanded comparisons of world-class endurance athletes and sedentary controls and in tightly controlled exercise training studies. Such studies have the potential to illuminate the biology not only of world class endurance performance but also of compromised cardiac functions and cardiometabolic diseases.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Statistical significance, Olympic Games, Effect size, Case-control study, Study design, Ancient Olympic Games


The objective is to briefly review air pollution and its effects on athletes' health and performance and to examine air quality (AQ) at specific Olympic Summer Games between 1964 and 2008. It will focus on any attempts made by the cities hosting these Olympics to improve AQ for the Games and if undertaken, how successful these were.

Concepts: United States, Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, Athens


The aim of this case study was to compare the competition approaches for the Race Walking World Cup and the Olympic Games of a world-class 50-km racewalker.

Concepts: United States, United Kingdom, Olympic Games, Germany, France, Winter Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games


The aim of the present study was to analyze the temporal effects that unsportsmanlike fouls may have on basketball teams' scoring performance under consideration of contextual-related variables. 130 unsportsmanlike fouls from 362 elite basketball games were analyzed (men’s and women’s Olympic Games, European and World Championships). The contextual-related variables studied were: score-line, quality of opposition, timeout situation, minutes remaining, and player’s status. The data were analysed with linear regression models. The results showed that both teams (the team that made the foul and the opponent) had similar positive scoring performances during 1 and 3 ball possessions after the unsportsmanlike foul (short-term effect). However, 5 ball possessions after the foul (mid-term effect), the team that made the foul had a scoring disadvantage (-0.96) and the opponent team an advantage (0.78). The quality of opposition contextual-related variable was significant only during 1 ball possession with negative effects for the team that made the foul and positive effects for the opponent. The final outcome showed a positive effect for score-line when the unsportsmanlike foul was made (0.96) and for quality of opposition (0.64).

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, United States, United Kingdom, Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games, Sports terminology


BACKGROUND: To investigate the effect of Ubiquinol supplementation on physical performance measured as maximum power output in young and healthy elite trained athletes. METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 100 young German well trained athletes (53 male, 47 female, age 19.9 +/- 2.3 years) received either 300 mg Ubiquinol or placebo for 6 weeks. Athletes had to perform a maximum power output test and the performance in W/kg of bodyweight was measured at the 4 mmol lactate threshold on a cycling ergometer before the supplementation treatment (T1), after 3 weeks (T2) and after 6 weeks (T3) of treatment. In these 6 weeks all athletes trained individually in preparation for the Olympic Games in London 2012. The maximum power output was measured in Watt/kilogram body weight (W/kg bw) RESULTS: Both groups, placebo and Ubiquinol, significantly increased their physical performance measured as maximum power output over the treatment period from T1 to T3. The placebo group increased from 3.64 +/- 0.49 W/kg bw to 3.94 +/- 0.47 W/kg bw which is an increase of +0.30 +/- 0.18 W/kg bw or +8.5% (+/-5.7). The Ubiquinol group increased performance levels from 3.70 W/kg bw (+/-0.56) to 4.08 W/kg bw (+/-0.48) from time point T1 to T3 which is an increase of +0.38 +/- 0.22 W/kg bw or +11.0% (+/-8.2). The absolute difference in the enhancement of the physical performance between the placebo and the Ubiquinol group of +0.08 W/kg bodyweight was significant (p < 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that daily supplementation of 300 mg Ubiquinol for 6 weeks significantly enhanced physical performance measured as maximum power output by +0.08 W/kg bw (+2.5%) versus placebo in young healthy trained German Olympic athletes. While adherence to a training regimen itself resulted in an improvement in peak power output, as observed by improvement in placebo, the effect of Ubiquinol supplementation significantly enhanced peak power production in comparison to placebo.

Concepts: United States, United Kingdom, Olympic Games, Placebo, Test method, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics


We evaluated the risk for the Spanish Olympic Team acquiring Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during 2016. We recruited 117 team members, and all tested negative for Zika virus. Lack of cases in this cohort supports the minimum risk estimates made before the Games.

Concepts: United States, Germany, France, Rio de Janeiro, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games, 2016 Summer Olympics, Barcelona


The motto of the Olympic Games is Citius, Altius, Fortius which is Latin for ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’. It is a clarion call to all competitors, including the youngest, to engage in training strategies that prepare athletes to be the best in the world. Existing research indicates that various forms of resistance training can elicit performance improvements in young athletes. Stronger young athletes will be better prepared to learn complex movements, master sport tactics, and sustain the demands of training and competition. An integrative training programme grounded in resistance training and motor skill development can optimise a young athlete’s potential to maximise their athletic and sporting performance, while reducing the risk of a sports-related injury. Resistance training may be especially important for modern-day young athletes who are more likely to specialise in one sport at an early age at the expense of enhancing general physical fitness and learning diversified sport skills. Structured interventions that include qualified instruction; targeted movement practice; and strength and conditioning activities that are developmentally appropriate, progressive and technique driven are needed to attain a level of athleticism that is consistent with the Olympic motto.

Concepts: United States, Olympic Games, Skill, Learning, Motor skill, Winter Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games


The Olympic Games' (OG) organisers typically hope that a diverse range of health legacies, including increases in physical activity and sport participation will result from their hosting of the OG. Despite these aspirations, the effects of the Olympics on physical activity levels remain to be demonstrated in large-scale population studies.

Concepts: United States, Olympic Games, Australia, Winter Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympics