As a result of the 2nd Winter Olympics and at the invitation of the Swiss surgeon and sports physician Wilhelm Knoll (1879-1958) and the Swiss National Olympic Committee, 33 physicians from eleven different countries came together in St. Moritz. In the context of this meeting Knoll formulated the tasks and objectives of an international association of sports physicians.
After French Professor Anatomy André Latarjet (1877-1947) emphasized the German contribution to the start of Sports Medicine, the Fédération Internationale de Médecine du Sport (FIMS) was founded. Knoll was elected first chairman. During those Winter Games, the Swiss Red Cross provided a number of barracks to the attending physicians, in which scientific sports medical examinations were carried out. Athletes were noted for anthropometric measurements, X-ray studies and cardiovascular and metabolic studies.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) appointed an official medical officer for the first time and an article appeared in the Lancet in which the lack of British specialists in sports medicine was raised in comparison with the European continent and especially with Germany. This resulted in the establishment of the National Fitness Council and the subsidies for physiological research increased.
American cardiologists Harold Feil (1889-1987) and Mortimer L. Siegel (1898-1982) were the first to emphasize the importance of cardiac stress testing; in three patients with chronic stable angina they reported ST and T changes after exercise. They had their patients make set-ups and reported their findings in the article 'Electrocardiographic changes during attacks of angina pectoris', which appeared in the American Journal of Medical Science.
German Professor of Internal Diseases Max Bürger (1885-1966) was the first to start a sports physiological research method in the clinical laboratory of Brugsch-Schittenhelm. He later became the initiator of the establishment of a sports medical association in the GDR.
The first official courses in Sports Medicine were given at the Universities of Leipzig and Hamburg. In Hamburg they opted for the Swiss surgeon and sports physician Wilhelm Knoll (1879-1958), in Leipzig German internist and sports physician Arno Arnold (1897-1963) (photo) was assigned that task. In 1936, Arnold was officially appointed as a professor of Sports Medicine. In 1940 he was appointed as head of the State Institute of Physiotherapy and Massage (Staatsanstalt für Krankengymnastik und Massage) in Dresden and during the second World War Arnold worked as a surgeon (Oberstabsarzt) in the Lazarett Bad Elster, where he settled after the war and was in charge of the local Kurklinik . In 1954 he moved to the Thermal bath in Wiesenbad (Thermalbades Wiesenbad) in Annaberg-Buchholz which he led to 1963. In addition to a large number of publications on Sports Medicine, he also gave courses for years. In 1954 he became the first president of the newly formed the Association for Sports Medicine (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sportmedizin) of the GDR.
French Professor Physiology Paul Chailley-Bert (1890-1973) started in Nancy a first course in occupational and sports medicine.
During the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, medical research was done for the first time. Dutchman Frederik Jacobus Johannes Buytendijk (1887-1974), professor physiology at the University of Groningen, was in charge and published 'Short report concerning the medical scientific research during the Olympic Games'. Thanks to the Dutch Olympic Committee, a number of rooms were cleared for medical research at the Olympic Stadium. The aim was to gain a better understanding of the athletes' training conditions and to trace the disadvantages that could arise from practicing demanding sports. Research was done on anthropometry, strength measurements, reaction period, recovery after fatigue, general clinical examination, radiology of the joints, heart and circulation, digestion, blood and secretion of urine and sweat. A lot of famous researchers worked on this. The results of these studies were bundled in a book published by Springer from Berlin. It contained articles by Professor Wolfgang Kohlrausch (1888-1980) and Professor Benedykt Dybowski (1833-1930) on anthropometry, Professor Hans Bethe (1906-2005) on strength measurement, Professor André Latarjet (1877-1947), Doctor Laugier and Doctor Fessard about reaction period and recovery after fatigue, Doctor Heiss about X-ray of the joints, Doctor Herbert Herxheimer (1894-1985) and Doctor Deutsch with 952 X-ray studies of the heart, Professor Max Bürger (1885-1966) about blood pressure measurements, Doctor Hoogerwerf about ECGs, Professor John Crighton Bramwell (1889 -1976) and Doctor Ellis on heart and blood pressure research, Doctor Marx on digestion, Professor Hüntermüller and Professor Thörner on blood tests, Professor Ernst-Günther Schenk (1904-1998) on urine research and Professor Isidore Snapper (1889-1971) on sweat excretion. The results showed that caution was required even with well-supervised athletes. Irregularities in cardiac or circulatory functions were observed in some cases. The largest deviations were found at the middle distance runners. During the X-ray examination of the joints, Dr. Heiss found anatomical irregularities mainly in unilaterally contested sports such as boxing, shot put, javelin and high jump.
Prof. dr. Buytendijk in the taking of an ECG
German exercise physiologist Richard Herbst (1893-1949) of Königsberg East Prussia published the results of his experimental research on the behavior of the maximum oxygen intake in different training conditions of people of different ages. According to Herbst, subjects trained on endurance had a higher oxygen intake than non-trained people. After reaching the maximum oxygen uptake value, their ventilation was further increased. Herbst used the Douglasbag for the respiratory gas analysis for runners and cyclists. Using the Douglasbag and gas analysis, he also investigated the distances between 100m and the marathon. The values obtained at that time corresponded to the current measurements, for example in the marathon an energy consumption of 3050 kcal, at 100m sprint an energy consumption of 50 kcal. Continued walking of more than three minutes was determined from the size of the maximal oxygen uptake. These parameters were thus a measurement of the performance level. The lung ventilation volume increased further after reaching the maximum oxygen uptake. The cardiac output was put forward as the most important factor as a restriction of physical fitness.
In Berlin the first field tests ergospirometry were carried out in this way and with a Douglasbag the gas metabolism was measured during exercise.