Afexa Life Sciences Inc.

Afexa Life Sciences Inc.

February 02, 2010 08:00 ET

Official Survey of Elite Athletes on Eve of 2010 Winter Games Shows Concerns Over Health; Athletes Expect Highest Medal Count Ever for Canada

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2010) - According to a poll of Canadian elite athletes, many of whom are training for the 2010 Winter Games, 79% fear a cold or flu could negatively affect their future performance. Nearly half of the athletes (49%) surveyed report having had a past performance suffer as a result of a cold or flu: 43% of summer athletes and 60% of winter athletes admit to having battled illness in competition. Three hundred and forty-six athletes completed the survey conducted over a three period ending January 7th

Colds and flu can have a major impact on performance. At the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Japan, Canadian figure skater Elvis Stoijko was one of 36 athletes, trainers and coaches who were sick with colds and flu. At the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, where 10% of athletes including acclaimed Canadian figure skater Jamie Sale came down with flu-like illnesses, respiratory infections were the most commonly treated medical conditions. Some sports medical experts say common colds and flu are the ailments that affect athletes' performances more than all other illnesses combined.

"The Olympic Games are a complex environment, with individuals from all parts of the world living together in a small, contained area," said Dr. Bob McCormack, Chief Medical Officer for the Canadian Olympic Team. He adds, "Combined with the stress of competition and long days at the Games, this could have a negative impact on our athletes' immune systems if not carefully managed. It is important they take great care with their health and do what they can to keep their immune systems as strong as possible."

So what are they doing to prevent the flu?

  • Just over half (51%) of those surveyed are taking natural supplements every day.
  • Close to three quarters (72%) of them are taking COLD-FX, which is being supplied to them through the seven Canadian Sports Centres where the country's Olympic athletes train.
  • 53% of those surveyed either have received or plan to get an H1N1 flu shot. 

In addition to the partnership with the Canadian Sports Centres, which sees COLD-FX distributed to 1,500 elite athletes, trainers, coaches, dieticians and support staff across the country, as the Official Cold and Flu Remedy of the 2010 Winter Games, Afexa Life Sciences is also making product available to one quarter of a million people participating in the 2010 Winter Games, to help protect them from colds and flu. Recipients include:

  • 25,000 volunteers
  • 11,000 journalists
  • 1,500 VANOC employees including the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay team, and
  • Over 200,000 spectators and celebrants at venues such as Canada Olympic House, Molson Canadian Hockey House, CTV celebration sites, and the Richmond O Zone, as well as various Provincial Pavilions and the Federal Pavilion.

Canadian Olympic athletes began taking COLD-FX in 2002, and five-time Olympic medallist Clara Hughes, who was recently named the Canadian flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies, was among the first. "Canadian athletes are all working towards the performances of their lives in 2010, and staying healthy is incredibly important," says Hughes. "As an athlete, you don't want to be beaten by a cold or flu—we're lucky to have COLD-FX available to us to strengthen our immune systems. Many of us count on it as we go for gold."

Canada's "Best Results Ever"

Canada won 24 medals at the last Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and the survey, commissioned by COLD-FX, revealed that 92% of our athletes believe Canada is going to beat that medal record. 70% attribute that confidence to home-turf advantage, agreeing that their fellow athletes are more driven to win because the Games are in Canada this year.

"This will be my fifth time at the Olympic Games, but it feels completely different having the Games in Canada. You feel this pressure to compete even harder because it's on our home turf," says Clara Hughes. At 37, she is an Officer of the Order of Canada and one of only four people in the history of the Olympic Games to have won medals at both the Olympic Summer and Winter Games. "I believe the Canadian Olympic Team will deliver our best results ever in Vancouver in 2010," says Hughes.

Life After The Games

The survey commissioned by COLD-FX also revealed all the things the athletes are looking forward to doing after they compete, when the pressure lifts. 

  • More than one in four (28%) are looking forward to eating whatever they want after the Games.
  • Nearly half (48%) want to go on a holiday.
  • 55% want to relax at home.
  • 53% are looking forward to partying with friends and family.
  • 48% plan to watch other athletes compete.
  • 14% look forward to getting back to training.

When asked which person they would most want to speak with immediately after winning a medal, 20% plan to call their coach, 29% of athletes will call their significant other first, and Mom or Dad received the most votes with 39% of athletes saying they'll first call a parent.

About the survey commissioned by COLD-FX

The online survey, emailed out to all the athletes that train at Canada's seven Canadian Sports Centres, was conducted between December 18th and January 7th, 2010. Of the 346 summer and winter athletes who completed the survey approved by the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee (VANOC), 88% were actively training for upcoming Olympic Games, while 12% have retired from competitive sport.

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