Rio Olympics: Health Concerns for Disabled Sailors? Should athletes be concerned
Commentary: Concern of Athletes at 2016 Rio Olympics-Paralympics.
By Urban Miyares, Co-Founder, Challenged America Program
For athletes there is no question being invited to compete and represent their countries at the Olympics/Paralympics is not only an honor and privilege, but also a testimony to their hard work to achieve excellence. However, in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics & Paralympics, I have concern about the health and well-being of the athletes with the reports of pollution and contamination of the waters sailors will be competing in.
Having not read any reports, on the medical side, of health dangers for competing in Rio waters, it has prompted me to write about this concern in hope those in the medical profession will make comment, and to bring public awareness to this matter.
Many people with and without disabilities have compromised immune systems, often triggered by injury, disease, medical procedures and medications. Most are aware of their restrictions and need to avoid contact with or consumption of many types of foods and liquids, as well as other contaminates that are in water, soil and even the air. Others, including athletes, may not know of their restrictions or even realize they have a compromised immune system until a health crisis arises.
As a person with a disability and having a compromised immune system, if I were fortunate to be considered a member of the U.S. Olympics/Paralympics Team in sailing, as an example, I would have to decline my Team position due to medical concern.
Such damage to a person’s health, with a compromised immune system, can create an immediate medical emergency, with devastating effect, and also initiate or trigger a medical condition that may not be detected until month or even years later.
It is with this that I hope the U.S. Olympic Team and that of the other countries sending athletes to Rio publicly recognize this problem, and provide a medical assurance that competing (in the sailing venues) is safe during the games and will not affect their medical condition afterwards.
Let me know your thoughts and opinion.