World Canoe/Kayak Marathon Championship

Press release about Dr. Andy McMarlin:

Local Sports Medicine Doctor Heads to the World Championships, Rises to Challenges and Changes of Role as Olympic Team Physician

Dr. Andy McMarlin of Winning Health Sports Medicine is in Oklahoma City this week as team physician for the USA Canoe & Kayak teams at the 2014 World Marathon Canoe/Kayak Championships. The US is hosting event at the newest US Olympic Team training center, The Oklahoma High Performance Center. 

“It feels great to be able to give back to the teams and to the country,” says Dr. McMarlin, who was the US Olympic pick in the double scull in 1996.  “I was part of that group of athletes for so long that was striving to be on the US Olympic team so it is really exciting to help the young athletes that are coming up.  The athletes have a wonderful energy that is great to be around.”   

Dr. McMarlin, who was formerly a team physician for professional sports teams like DC United Soccer and the Washington Nationals, says that being a physician for Olympic athletes has a number of challenges that doctors don’t encounter when covering pros.  For example, he says that “for pros there are very few things on the banned substance list, but for Olympians even for help with a cold or sinus infection you have to be very aware of the hundreds of different medications that are banned even though they have no performance benefit in most athletes.  Certain medications can be given in competition as long as it’s not such a high dose that will cause an excess of a certain amount in the athletes’ urine.  Just yesterday I was trying to figure out what dosage of a cold medicine wouldn’t result in exceeding that concentration in a kayaker’s urine based on her age, weight, and presumed kidney function and of course there are no clear guidelines on this.  In the pros you don’t have to worry so much about urine tests if you win the game.” 

Dr. McMarlin has covered a number of World Championship competitions before but this is his first time covering the Marathon events for the USA Canoe and Kayak teams.  He says “These are really amazing events. The kayakers and canoeists are racing these incredibly unstable boats for over 19 miles and every couple of miles they have to come to shore, carry their boats out of the water, run as fast as they can with the boats for several hundred yards, and get back into the water to race in the boats again.   I’ve never seen it before and I am very happy to get a chance to see these athletes do their stuff.”

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