The U.S. Olympic Committee experience with exercise-induced bronchospasm, 1984

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1986 Jun;18(3):328-30. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198606000-00013.


Exercise-induced bronchospasm is a medical deterrent to an athlete's natural ability to perform. The U.S. Olympic Committee has met the challenge of recognizing and dealing with this common yet unappreciated medical complication aggravated by athletic exertion. Prior to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games the U.S. Olympic Committee developed a screening program to identify members of its Olympic team who suffered from asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm. The screening identified 67 of 597 Olympic athletes with asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm. Coordination of medical care by contact between members of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, the U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Medical Officer, the athlete's personal physician, and the athlete was done. Medications approved for use in these conditions by the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission policies were prescribed. Forty-one medals were won by this group of handicapped athletes. Their example will raise the hopes and aspirations of countless young allergic and asthmatic children who dream of the thrills and health benefits of physical performance at almost any level of competition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use
  • Asthma* / physiopathology
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced* / diagnosis
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced* / drug therapy
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced* / physiopathology
  • Cromolyn Sodium / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Sports*
  • Terbutaline / therapeutic use


  • Terbutaline
  • Cromolyn Sodium
  • Albuterol