Our first publication with lead author Dr. Aoife A. Donnelly has been published in the research topic Mental health challenges in elite sport:balancing risk with reward in the online open access journal Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology. The journal with an impact factor of 2.463 is the second most highly cited journal in psychology. The special issue mainly comprises papers addressing the issue of depression among elite athletes but our paper is unique in proposing a unique transdisciplinary approach to the environment in which Olympic athletes compete. Abstract online here.
Traditionally, the focus of sport medicine and sport science specialists has been on mitigating environmental challenges including heat stress (Los Angeles 1984), air pollution (Beijing 2008) and altitude (Mexico 1968). Host cities for Olympic Games are tending to be held in megacities, which invariably have issues with air pollution, water quality and a lack of green and blue natural spaces due to the density of the urbanization. We propose that rather than the IOC agreeing minimum safe levels of pollutants, setting sustainability criteria, and minimizing the carbon footprint for the quadrennial event for host cities they should raise the bar. Accounting for greenness, environmental quality, biodiversity and accessibility with green routes at the Olympic venues should be all considered. The potential for environment quality to affect athlete health, well being and indeed performance has been underestimated.
Cite as: Donnelly AA, MacIntyre TE, Warrington G, O’Sullivan N, Harrison D, Igou ER, Jones M, Gidlow C, Cloak R, Lahart I, Brick N and Lane AM (2016). Environmental influences on Elite Sport Athletes Well Being: From Gold, Silver and Bronze to Blue Green and Gold.Front. Psychol. 7:1167. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01167