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October 14, 1998

Medical Care at the Olympics—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(14):1229-1230. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-14-jbk1014

In Reply.—We agree with Dr Ault's observations that providing clinical and public health services during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games created unique challenges for both the public and private sector. An event of its size and complexity is not only a clinical laboratory, but a public health laboratory as well. While dedicated volunteers like Ault dispensed medical care to some of the millions of spectators drawn to the Olympics, operating quietly behind the scenes were policies and procedures—eg, a smoke-free environment, food vendor inspections, injury investigations—to ensure the health and safety of all participants. These practices resulted from the efforts of local, state, and federal health agencies working in concert with the organizers for 6 years before the Olympics opened.1