Olympic research centre in the Capital Region of Denmark

​One of the nine global Olympic research centres is to open in Copenhagen as a collaboration between Bispebjerg Hospital and Hvidovre Hospital under the name “IOC Research Centre Copenhagen”. This was celebrated with a scientific symposium about the Olympic athlete on Friday 20 November.

​The new IOC Research Centre Copenhagen for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will enable researchers from the two hospitals to prevent injuries in Olympic athletes as well as ensure their health. Every year in the period 2015-18, the centre will receive funding of DKK 600,000 for its work.

“Being appointed IOC centre is an important seal of approval indicating that our research into and treatment of sports injuries are of the highest international standard,” said Michael Kjær, professor at the Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen at Bispebjerg Hospital, who together with Per Hölmich from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Hvidovre Hospital are the driving forces at the new research centre.

Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (the Social Democrats), Chairman of the Regional Council added:

“The IOC appointment is a recognition we can be proud of as well as a good example of how collaboration across knowledge environments in the region makes us a strong collaboration partner internationally.”

New knowledge for elite and everyday athletes

The researchers are to share their know-how with the IOC and to contribute to finding solutions to sports injuries, for example in cases where Olympic athletes are struck by multiple shoulder injuries. Then the nine centres are to step in with research, knowledge and counselling. And it is not only the elite who benefits from the advice:

“Sometimes we use elite sport athletes as a model, but the results of this type of clinical research can often be applied to the regular athlete. For example, at the moment we are working with sports injuries in children and young people,” said Per Hölmich, and Michal Kjær went on to add:

“Just like the development of the Formula 1 car engine can be applied to regular cars after a while, the work with the absolute elite will mean progress in the treatment of regular athletes. Within the framework of the IOC, we work with athletes who push themselves to the limit, but if we find the button that turns on the red light just before the human engine breaks down, we can transfer this new knowledge to the many recreational athletes we work with on a daily basis as well as to our clinical research,” said Michael Kjær.

Collaboration is a mantra

The nine IOC centres have just been together for a two-day symposium in Lausanne. Not only to share knowledge internally, but also - as a sort of medical council - to update IOC’s medical staff.

In addition to the symposium, a meeting was held with several specialist associations to discuss the newest results of the centres’ research. Overall, collaboration is important, whether it is collaboration worldwide, between centres, nationwide, between hospitals, or internally between departments.

Symposium on the Olympic athlete

The official appointment of the IOC centre took place on Friday 20 November at 9.30 am at a symposium at the Education Centre at Bispebjerg Hospital. 

The event was opened by Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, chairman of the Regional Council, after which Professor Lars Engebretsen, IOC Head of Scientific Activities, presented the diploma and plaquette, before the scientific programme about prevention, development and rehabilitation of sports injuries commenced.

Further information


  • ​​The other eight centres are located in Australia, Canada, South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

  • Professor Michael Kjær from Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen, Bispebjerg Hvidovre Hospital and Professor Per Hölmich from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Hvidovre Hospital are the driving forces of the new research centre. Professor Peter Magnusson, Professor Michael Krogsgaard, Professor Vibeke Backer as well as Hanne Rasmussen, consultant physician attended from Bispebjerg Hospital. The key figures from Hvidovre Hospital are Associate Professor Kristian Thorborg and Associate Professor Thomas Bandholm. 

  • The official title of the centre is IOC Sports Medicine Copenhagen, Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health, University Hospitals at Hvidovre-Amager and Bispebjerg-Frederiksberg, The Capital Region of Denmark, University of Copenhagen

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