Monday 5 December 2016

What does the 2020 athlete look like? Join stars like Harrington and Wood at Science Summit to find out

Published 21/10/2016 | 20:02

Getting in the swing for the Science Summit: Oreeco CEO Dr. Brian Moore with Padraig Harrington
Getting in the swing for the Science Summit: Oreeco CEO Dr. Brian Moore with Padraig Harrington

ONE day an elite athlete will run 10 kilometres in less than 24 minutes. Or will they? That is effectively six sub four minute miles one after another.

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Are feats of such astonishing physical prowess possible? What does the 2020 athlete look like? Can science and technology help make it happen?

These are some of the many questions that will be discussed at the inaugural Orreco Science Summit – featuring the world’s top experts in elite sports performance, sports medicine, nutrition and data science.

Irish sports performance company Orreco, which counts golfers Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell among is investors, will host the Science Summit, with the theme ‘The 2020 athlete’, at the Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway this Tuesday. (October 25)

The Orreco Science Summit is being hosted with performance partners, NUI Galway Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Europe’s largest big data agency and St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The Summit will feature talks, conversation and cutting-edge research from world-class athletes and coaches as well as round tables hosted by former Ireland rugby captain and British and Irish Lion Keith Wood.

Orreco is assembling world-renowned experts in sports medicine, sports science, nutrition, and data science to share their research and current thinking around optimising the highest level of performance in elite athletes.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington said: “This summit brings together a distinguished international forum to help further the understanding of the inner workings of the bodies of elite athletes. Certainly understanding these principles has been the key to unlocking longevity in my career.

 "I am fascinated and intrigued with how sports science and actionable data helps optimise performance and guides training loads. I have no doubt Orreco’s pioneering work is going to revolutionise the way sport is played."

Keynote speakers include John Nosta of NostaLab, a worldwide voice in digital health and the convergence of technology and medicine. Nosta is also a member of the Google Health Advisory Board.

Other notable speakers and panelists confirmed for the Orreco Science Summit include senior scientists and professors from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Houston, NASA and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

They will be joined by invited guests from high performance sport including sports performance coordinator from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Dr. Ara Suppiah the team physician for the winning US Ryder cup team. 

The summit will have special focus on the advancements of the training tools and technology that surround the elite athlete.

In a 1996 article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine the legendary Scottish sports scientist Craig Sharp described a sub-24 minute 10,000m track race occurring in the year 2040, citing the key science and technology advances that could contribute to this result.

As we face an exciting junction in Olympic and Professional Sports, the summit will take stock of Professor Sharp’s predictions and respond to the acceleration of technology and data in the Science of Sport.

The afternoon session on October 25 will feature a round table discussion featuring scientists from global research institutions, world-class athletes and performance coaches discussing what the 2020 elite sporting landscape will look like and what the future holds for elite sport.

Orreco founders Dr. Brian Moore and Dr. Andrew Hodgson (Haematology, Sligo Regional Hospital) will be among those covering various disciplines across science and sport including sports science, athletes, systems physiology, data science, the sports industry and the future of sport.

Looking ahead to the summit, Dr. Moore said: “We are privileged to work with world leading athletes and teams. Every day in training and when competing they push themselves to be better.

“This summit is our commitment to the same principles of getting better, challenging our own thinking and looking for innovative solutions to accelerate recovery, optimize performance and prolong athletes’ careers. We also believe that progress we make with elite athletes may in time have benefits to us all.”

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