There is something else that
Olympic medal winners gain along with honor and respect in the society and
history. A recent study published in the British
Medical Journal tells that Olympic
medal winners live 2.8 years longer than normal people, regardless of which
nation they belong to and what medal they won.
Researchers from the University
of Melbourne, Australia picked information from 15,174 Olympic athletes across
nine countries who won medals between 1896 and 2010. The researchers added that
impact of nationality on the results were almost negligible.
This life-advantage is for all
the athletes who won gold, silver and bronze medals including those who bagged medals
in endurance and other mixed sports. But the tricky part here is that those athletes who competed in more strenuous
activities had a shorter life-span than those who indulged in less-strenuous
The researchers credited the
athletes' physical activity and exercise for this advantage, and also
highlighted some evidences pointing that the health benefits and longevity
could be achieved by anyone by doing similar and regular physical activities.
There were two studies published
in this context. The first study shows that regardless of nationality, type of
game and medals won, Olympic medallists live close to three years more than the
rest of us. In the second study, it was observed that the athletes who
participated in high or moderate intensity sports such as weight lifting lived
a shorter life than those who played low-intensity sports such as golf and
archery. This study shows that rugby and ice-hockey players are at greater risk
of dying due to the physical contact and injuries associated with the sports.
Another interesting fact that evolved in this study is that sports related to
cardiovascular exercises at any level or intensity created a longer life
expectancy in athletes.
The results of this study do not imply that you have
to win an Olympic medal to live longer. Those who cannot compete for an Olympic
medal can improve their life expectancy by engaging in regular exercise and
proper diet, which has been shown to protect against major diseases such as
type 2 diabetes.