A significant link between air quality and professional sports has pushed Senegal to install air cleaning and monitoring devices in its stadiums, four years before it hosts the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Africa’s first Olympic event. A growing body of research shows that oxygen quality is fundamental to athlete performance and longevity, spectator health, and general sporting mood. In June, World Athletics through its Every Breath Counts campaign, called for better air quality in sports across the globe. And when the Senegalese government through its environment ministry and Athletics Senegal this month hosted various sporting and environmental organizations in Dakar, discussions centered on how failure to clean the air in sports stadiums has negatively affected sportsmen and women. Senegal joins 6,000 cities across 117 countries around the world that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates are investing in monitoring air quality at sporting events. Athletes, due to their higher rate of breathing during exercise and increased airflow velocity during live matches, are the most affected by poor quality air.
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