Anecdotes of sports medicine - Jan Pieter Clarys

The Limburg Congres for Sports Medicine started every year on Friday evening with a round table, during which different aspects of a certain joint were treated.

The most spectacular part of the evening was the introductory part by Professor Jan Pieter Clarys (1945-), head of the Department of Experimental Anatomy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He perforned a realtime dissection of the discussed joint on stage and brought his own cameraman with the necessary installation, so that those present could follow the full dissection on a big screen. The whole room smelled of formaldehyde and his exposition was an excellent repetition of the anatomy lessons from everyone's student days.

In the announcement for the program booklet, Professor Clarys also picked up beautiful titles. A small anthology:

  • 'The anatomy behind the boxer shorts'
  • 'Articulatio genu ... introduction to instability ... A plea for improved suspension and good final rotation'
  • 'The foot, a vault with a keystone and many support and suspension points'
  • 'Grabbed ... but how? Through the carpal tunnel and Guyon to the chiasma tendinum.'

Professor Dr. Jan-Pieter Clarys was Full Professor and Head of Experimental Anatomy at the University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel - VUB) from 1990 to 2013, and Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy at the VUB from 1996 to 2004..

He is the author of 170 scientific publications and author or co-author of 8 books in Ergonomic and Sports Sciences.

In 1995 he was awarded the Dutch Prize of Sport Medicine, the Philip Noel Baker Research award (ICSSPE, UNESCO) and he became doctor Honoris Causa of the John Moores University of Liverpool in 1996.

He was President of the World Commission of Sports Biomechanics, President of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, in 1978 Laureate of the Dutch prize Sports Medicine & Sports Healthcare, in 1996 Laureate - Silver Medal for winter sports research of the Austrian Olympic Committee.

He was also editorial board member of the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. He is Past President of the World Commission of Sports Sciences (WCSS of ICSSPE?UNESCO) and of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK). He presented many keynotes and invited lectures on International Congresses of Sport Sciences, Sport Medicine, Biomechanics, Ergonomics and Body Composition.

During his 40-year career, his most major research activities were devoted to hydro-dynamics, electromyography, functional anatomy and the human body composition.

In addition, he was not only a good friend, but we spent years fighting out wonderful waterpolo duels, both in our clubs and in our University teams. He as target man of Strombeek Bever or the VUB team, I as last defender of the Hasseltse Zwemvereniging Spartacus or KUL team.