Does sport science impact on olympic medal performance?

Does the number of sport science articles a country publish impact on medals? This was one of the questions asked in a piece of research recently published in the International Journal of Information and Science and Management.

While it is an interesting idea to try and identify the role sport science plays in performance, merely counting publications and medals does not really reflect the complicated mix of circumstances that create sporting success.

However what was interesting about this article was the discussion on why the sport science publication/medal count hypothesis was incorrect. Two points stood out that would be of interest to anyone working in the transfer of knowledge in sport science:

  • The publication outlets favoured by scientists are not the same as the sources of information referred to by practitioners
  • In sport sciences it is newsletters and newspapers rather than scholarly journals that are considered to be the dominant media to circulate information.

The above points suggest that unless there is a change in approach to dissemination there will continue to be a low transfer rate of research into action . Addressing this is the real question we need to be asking rather than thinking about Olympic medals.

 We’d love to hear any ideas you might have as to how best to address this? Why not add a comment below.