Dal Prof Helping Canadian Athletes in Rio

It’s a long road to Rio.

Athletes often spend years training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games. It’s all about ensuring they are fit, focused and ready when it comes time to perform.

That’s why having people like Lori Dithurbide around for support before, during and after the Games can make all the difference in an athlete’s quest for the gold.

Dr. Dithurbide, a Dalhousie Kinesiology professor, is a mental performance consultant with the Canadian women’s artistic gymnastics team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She is one of more than 200 specialists and coaches working behind the scenes this year to support Canada’s 314 Olympic competitors.

"It's not that different than a strength and conditioning coach,” Dr. Dithurbide says of her role. “I help the athletes increase their mental skills to maximize training and improve consistency in performance.”

Dr. Dithurbide has worked closely with the gymnasts over the past several weeks — including Nova Scotia’s own Ellie Black, who’s taken Kinesiology courses at Dal — in the lead up to this summer’s Games. Now, she’s joined the gymnastics team in Rio, helping its athletes cope with the pressure and stay focused on their performance.

“I’ll be there to help manage distractions, to remind them of all the stuff that we’ve worked on, and to debrief after performances,” she says.

Dr. Dithurbide has been training with athletes ahead of major competitions for several years as a consultant at Canadian Sports Centre Atlantic (CSCA), a regional sports service provider. But this is her first time going to the Olympics, an event that brings heightened expectations, media attention and other distractions.

“The biggest mental challenge is dealing with the distractions that are the Olympic Games, the largest sporting even in the world" says Dr. Dithurbide, noting that studies have shown the impact mental distractions can have on athletic performance during the Olympics.

Dr. Dithurbide will be working alongside coaches, a physiotherapist and other experts as part of a broader support team, the composition of which varies from sport to sport depending on allocations decided on by the Canadian Olympics Committee.

Posted by
Share your news and events for free on lokol Halifax

Dr. Dithurbide, a Dalhousie Kinesiology professor, is a mental performance consultant with the Canadian women’s artistic gymnastics team.
Sports University, College Local


Log In or Sign Up to add a comment.
  • 1
arrow-eseek-eNo items to display

Facebook Comments

View all the LATEST
and HOTTEST posts

Share this comment by copying the direct link.

  • Our

Using this website is subject to the Terms of Use that contain binding contractual terms.