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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 23, 2012

As athletes prepare for the up-coming Summer Olympics, so does SickKids’ very own Dr. Greg Wells

By Daniella Vasilovsky

With the summer Olympics fast approaching, Dr. Greg Wells, Scientist, Physiology & Experimental Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Assistant Professor, Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto is taking all the right steps to get ready for yet another Olympic appearance. As the on-camera sport science and sport medicine analyst for the CTV Broadcast Consortium, Wells along with Brian Williams, Canadian sportscaster, will provide coverage of various events during the day. Wells will also be presenting a series of segments from his new book Superbodies, exploring the extreme limits of human health and performance in elite athletes.

Superbodies
is about bringing science to sports and making it understandable and interesting for everyone. Wells uses cool images of athletes and computer generated imagery to zoom into the human body during intense performance situations to explore how genetics and DNA, the brain, muscles, lungs and the heart work together under extreme conditions. It is a fascinating explanation of the human body that shows how everyone can learn from the pros to improve their health and performance.

“I am really excited to see the physiological aspects of the athletes and how far they will push themselves to break the barriers of their limitations,” said Wells. “I hope the athletes will inspire others to take up physical activity in their own lives.”

Studying the physical limitations of athletes bodies and designing training programs to help them improve their strength, health and fitness relates to Wells’ research in exploring the physical limitations of children with chronic diseases here at SickKids. As exercise and physical activity may ease the symptoms of chronic disease, Wells has made it top priority to design interventions to train and make physical activity easier and more accessible for chronically ill children. Wells attests to using traditional exercise testing and non-invasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging techniques (MRI) to investigate the pathophysiology of exercise intolerance in children with chronic disease.

“Using advanced MRI technologies is an effective tool for looking inside the human body without using radiation, drugs or other invasive measures,” says Wells. “We are looking at developing new techniques to look at blood flow, how muscles produce energy and then relate it back to the mechanisms of exercise intolerance in children with chronic diseases.”

Tune into the summer Olympics beginning July 27 to learn more about the science behind world-class athletes.

To follow Wells as he covers the summer Olympics, follow him on Twitter @drgregwells and check out his daily blog at www.drgregwells.com. You can also follow @SickKidsNews for other updates.