Foreword by Thomas Bach, IOC President

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Thomas Bach, IOC President

As an Olympian I know how much the worry of injury and illness can be a part of every-day life for an athlete. It can be just as much of a concern as a false start in the 100m, or a failed parry in fencing.

As a former athlete, I know how much this apprehension is an intrinsic part of a sporting career.

When we push ourselves to the limit of our capabilities health risks are inherent to the practice of sport. This is why protecting athletes’ health and preventing injuries and illnesses in training and competition are top priorities for the International Olympic Committee. Our Medical and Scientific Commission, chaired by Professor Uğur Erdener, is working hard to help minimise the risk of injury and illness in sport.

In keeping with this framework, the 5th IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness will bring together eminent international specialists to collaborate and share their latest findings and knowledge on how to best protect the athletes’ health, in and out of competition.

Dealing with injury and illness is not an end in itself.  All this work is to help athletes perform at the height of their powers.  It is all about how best to provide the ideal conditions to allow athletes to concentrate on giving their best.

After welcoming two successful editions in 2011 and 2014, Monaco will host this 2017 Conference.  May I sincerely thank our hosts, my IOC colleague HSH Prince Albert II and the whole Principality of Monaco – a constant friend of Olympic sport.

My thanks go also to our partners and all the contributing authors and speakers for their support for and involvement in the Conference.

Through this Conference, our ultimate objective will always not just to reduce the risk of injuries and illness in sport – but to work to avoid them entirely.

With Olympic Agenda 2020, we have demonstrated how strongly we are committed to putting the athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement.  This conference is another step in that goal.

Thomas Bach