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Medicina dello Sport 2022 March;75(1):69-83

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.22.04056-X


language: English, Italian

Effects of COVID-19: relations of sport and disability on the training load and expectation of athletes on road to Tokyo Paralympic Games

Elke L. TRIGO 1, 2, 3, Renata WILLIG 1, 4, 5, Geiziane L. MELO 1, 6, Shirko AHMADI 1, 7, Shaeny G. COSTA 1, 8, Raphael M. ALMEIDA 1, 9, Mariane FERREIRA 1, 2, Vanessa L. ARAÚJO 1, 10, Rosemeire CASTILHO 1, 11, Ciro WINCKLER 1, 2

1 Center of Studies in Physical Activity and Sports for People with Disabilities, NEAFEP/UNIFESP, Santos, Brazil; 2 Department of Human Movement Science, São Paulo Federal University, Santos, Brazil; 3 Senac University Center, São Paulo, Brazil; 4 Research Unit in Human Movement Analysis, KinesioLab, Piaget Institute, Almada, Portugal; 5 Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure (CIAFEL), the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 6 Department of Physical Education, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasília, Brazil; 7 School of Physical Education, Department of Adapted Physical Activity, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil; 8 Anhanguera College, Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, Brazil; 9 Brazilian Table Tennis Confederation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 10 Santo Agostinho University Center, Teresina, Brazil; 11 Para Sport Association ADESP, São Paulo, Brazil


BACKGROUND: The prevention protocols of COVID-19 impact several restrictions in the sports world, the influence of this scenario in the athletes with impairment increased associated a multifactorial condition like environment, etiology, or psychological perception. The aim of this study was to identify the influences of impairments and sports on characteristics of load training during the COVID-19 Pandemic, life satisfaction and the expectation about the influence of pandemic on the performance in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
METHODS: One hundred eighty Brazilian para-athletes, in a cross-sectional study, answered a survey about their training load before and during the Pandemic, satisfaction with life and expectation about their performance. Athletes were divided into three groups according to their sport practiced: individual sports (Ind-1); Individual sports with opposition (Ind-2) and team sports (Team). The data were analyzed by impairments and sports groups.
RESULTS: Hours of training, number of sessions and rating of perceived exertion reduced during the pandemic. Limb impairment and spinal cord injury groups reduced training hours during pandemic. Team group showed lower training sessions per week than the Ind-1 group. No difference was found in life satisfaction among the groups. Most athletes believe that the pandemic will damage their performance in the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
CONCLUSIONS: Influences of COVID-19 Pandemic on training loads were identified to all groups, however there were no differences between disabilities or sports in the life satisfaction and expectation about the influence of pandemic on the performance in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

KEY WORDS: Para-athletes; Sports for persons with disabilities; COVID-19

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