1. Information and Informed Consent

Please read the following information carefully before proceeding.
Cold weather athletes such as cross country skiers and biathletes that train and compete in normal winter conditions inhale large amounts of cold and dry air. Cold and dry air had been found to cool and dry your lungs. This exposure to cold dry air makes the lining of the lungs more sensitive and inflamed (like your skin being itchy) which can cause cough and other lungs symptoms like more mucus being formed.  However no one has studied in depth the prevalence and causes of respiratory symptoms in North American skiers and biathletes.
It is also not known what factors such as the perception of safe air temperature to train-race at or what advice you have been given has formed your own ideas of how to manage your respiratory health. Finally, how other health factors like allergy status and diagnosis of conditions like asthma influence your respiratory health has not been examined in a large sample of Nordic sport athletes.  
Thus this study aims to understand the influence of cross country skiing and biathlon on respiratory health status, identify causes that lead to respiratory symptoms and determine what factors might influence respiratory status in Nordic sport.
Study Procedures:
Please complete the on-line questionnaire as honestly and accurately as possible. The questionnaire should take 30 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is on the SurveyMonkey platform which houses its servers in the continental USA and is therefore subject to USA privacy legislation.
There are no direct benefits to your participation in this study. However, by participating in this study the major benefit to society will be helping the researchers understand the nature of cross country skiing and biathlon respiratory health and factors associated with respiratory health. Broadly speaking your participation will assist in developing better guidelines for exercise in the cold and in Nordic sports.  
There are no foreseeable risks associated with participation in this study.
Voluntary Participation:
There is no obligation to participate and you are not obliged to answer any specific questions even if participating in the study. 
Withdrawal will not be possible after submission as all data is anonymous.
Confidentiality & Anonymity:
We intend to use this data to publish a manuscript and present the data at an international conference. We will make every effort to keep your data confidential and only the research team will have access to the data. We cannot guarantee anonymity during the study and no data relating to this study that includes your name will be released or published by the researchers.   
Contact Information:
If you have any further questions regarding this study, please do not hesitate to contact: Michael Kennedy (780 492 2830)   
The plan for this study has been reviewed by a Research Ethics Board at the University of Alberta. If you have questions about your rights or how research should be conducted, you can call (780) 492-2615.  This office is independent of the researchers.  
Consent Statement:
I have read this form and the research study has been explained to me. I have been given the opportunity to ask questions and my questions have been answered. If I have additional questions, I have been told whom to contact. I understand that submission of this questionnaire implies my consent.
If you are 14 years of age please ensure a parent or legal guardian has read the information letter and agrees that submission of the questionnaire implies consent.

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* 1. I have read the information and understand the purpose of this survey. If I have additional questions, I have been told whom to contact. I agree to participate in the survey, as described above.

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* 2. If you are 14 years of age please ensure a parent or legal guardian has also read and provided consent. 

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