Thursday, April 07, 2011


Dr. Ian Cohen, the new lead physician for the Canadian sailing team, and Alicia Crelinsten, the National team athletic therapist, have hit the ground running conducting medical screening to targeted sailors at the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario this past March. They are also setting up an athlete online medical record database for continuous monitoring. Dr. Cohen and Alicia are liaising with each Canadian Sport Centre to ensure adequate medical testing and care can be provided to our targeted sailors.
Dr. Ian Cohen has practiced primary care sport medicine in Toronto for over 20 years. Since 2002 he has been the Medical Director for the Spirit of Canada sailing program and has contributed his expertise to three around-the-world sailing campaigns including the Velux5Oceans which is currently being raced. In 2001 and 2003, he was the team physician for Defiant during their two successful Canada’s Cup campaigns. In 2004, he assisted Team Provan-Girke in their 470 class Athens Olympic program.

In addition to his interest in sailing, Dr. Cohen has been involved in the care of recreational, elite and professional athletes in all sports. He was the Toronto Argonauts Team Physician during the early 1990’s and has been the University of Toronto Varsity Teams Physician since 1990. During the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, he acted as the assistant venue medical director at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

He is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education & Health at the University of Toronto and works as a sport and exercise physician at the David L. MacIntosh Sport Medicine Clinic. He considers the care of all athletes to be of great value and seeks to use physical fitness as a form of preventative medicine. Dr. Cohen remarks “I am looking forward to being part of the Canadian sailing integrated support team.”

Alicia Crelinsten is the head athletic therapist at the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario. Alicia provides athletic therapy services to identified National teams training in Ontario. She specifically offers injury education, prevention, recognition, evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement to select provincial and national training groups. 
Alicia has been working with the Ontario based sailors for the past 2 years, and most recently has provided support for the entire National sailing team at FALL Cork Regatta in Kingston, ON in September 2010, and most recently at the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in January 2011. Alicia is looking forward to working with Dr. Cohen on creating and implementing a sport medicine support system for the National Sailing team.
CYA is very pleased to officially welcome Dr. Ian Cohen and Alicia Crelinsten to the teamas we build toward the success of 2012! Ken Dool, CYA's High Performance Director adds, "Dr. Cohen & Alicia's involvement with the team further helps to professionalize our approach to caring for full-time athletes competing as elite performers. Their professional knowledge & experience will help heed of potential medical issues while also ensuring immediate access to appropriate service providers for our injured athletes."-
Alicia conducts a brief interview with Dr. Ian Cohen:

Alicia: “What has been your most memorable sailing experience to date?”
Ian: “There have been many, but the most memorable would have been spending a week in Les Sables-d’Olonne helping Derek Hatfield and Spirit of Canada get to the start of the 2008 Vendee Globe. Fortunately, there were not many medical issues to deal with but I did meet the race medical director and learn about their preparations. I met most of the world’s best solo sailors. I helped out in whatever way I could, selling t-shirts, getting coffee and putting names on the side of the boat. My biggest thrill was releasing the dock lines and seeing Spirit of Canada head off to the start. I still get a chill thinking about it.”

Alicia: “What are you most looking forward to as the National sailing team physician?”
Ian: I have worked with many sports, and many athletes, but here I get to combine my love of sailing and my passion for sport medicine. Working with these elite athletes, coaches, therapists and other medical team members will give me the opportunity to advance my knowledge. I will need to look for the best preventative strategies to keep our sailors on the water: What adaptations do we need to make for injured sailors that differ from other sports?  How do we optimize a cohesive medical team spread out across the country and effectively care for athletes competing all over the world? I look forward to seeing Canada’s sailors continue to move up the ranks and become a powerhouse on the water!

Alicia: “Anything the National Sailing team should know about you?”
Ian: I may ask a lot of questions about tactics and trim – I could sure use some help!

Alicia: Anything else you think would be interesting for the sailing community to read about?
Ian: Born in Ottawa. Lovely wife and 2 teenage girls. Sail every week with a great group of guys on a boat with no shouting. Will try to keep up in the clubhouse but I have a small liver.