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.
AdvertisementThis 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 activities.
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.