Tag: winter sports

Obsession to win is overwhelming

World Championships are going on and doping still appears to be used in cross-country skiing. The reason why some athletes do that is that in addition to cardiac stroke volume, which is the most important factor in cross-country skiing, also red blood cell volume contribute to systemic oxygen delivery, which is the most important factor determining maximal oxygen consumption and thus endurance exercise performance. By using EPO or your stored blood, some athletes try to increase their blood oxygen carrying capacity, and by so doing their performance.

People were commented to be very stupid to dope on their home ground, which makes me smile when reflecting back to Lahti 2001. There numerous Finnish skiers were investigated to have used blood doping and were banned to take part in further competitions. Also after that we have had Finnish and other skiers that have used EPO and other drugs, no matter what has happened.

It is striking that these doping habits still continue. Obsession to win is overwhelming.

Snowsports – another good way to be more active!

Finnish attempt “snowsports make you more active” won FIS SnowKidz Award and was recognised as the best programme worldwide last year to bring children to the snow. This year the program expands even more and other countries are also becoming more and more active advancing snowsport activities.

Cross-country skiing is really good activity also for kids. Also Southern and West part of Finland got quite a bit of snow (some 15 cm) yesterday, and we also needed to go and try if we could ski for the first time for the season. We have been in skitunnel skiing with artificial snow, but good real snow in a natural environment is still different. Although real tracks were not prepared yet, skiing was indeed possible, which was good fun and hopefully we will have lots of good winter days and snow ahead of us!

 

Are elite athletes best persons to talk about climate change?

I came across with a video by International Ski Federation where elite winter athletes talk about climate change. While it is indeed a very good idea to increase the awaraness of this phenomenon, which is very critical for the success of our planet, I also started to wonder whether elite (winter) sport athletes are really the best persons to talk about preventing climate change.

This is because they are the persons that travel the most with airplanes all over the world to reach their training and competition destinations. Airplane travel is an important source of pollution promoting climate change, as discussed in detail for instance in this scientific paper, or by New York Times story (with lots of good links), which might be a bit easier to follow.

Unfortunately the video is a typical – lot of talk, no actions – promotion video. Hopefully International Ski Federation thinks also actions next time. In the meantime everyone can take their own actions for the matter by traveling being physically active rather than taking a car or airplane.

 

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