chapter  9
19 Pages

‘It’s not about health, it’s about performance’: Sport medicine, health, and the culture of risk in Canadian sport


Sport is one of the key sites for the exercise of physical power in modern life. This is true both in the sense that sporting activity involves the enactment of bodily power, and that the athletic body is a site on which disciplinary power is exercised, for example in training regimes and in scientific testing and monitoring of bodily processes (Shogan 1999). Another form of disciplinary power in sport is the medicalization of the sporting body. There are now recognized specializations in sport in a number of health professions, for example, clinical medicine, surgery, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage therapy. Such is the penetration of medical intervention in sport that Waddington (1996: 179) has suggested that athletes today are understood to require routine medical supervision, not because they have a clearly defined pathology but simply because they are athletes.