10% of 2010 Winter Olympians Suffered Injuries09/09/10
THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- About one in 10 athletes
who competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics suffered an injury and
about one in 14 became ill, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed reports from the 82 national team doctors
who looked after a total of 2,567 athletes and found that there
were 287 reported injuries and 185 illnesses. That works out to
111.8 injuries (11 percent) and 72.1 illnesses (7 percent) per
1,000 registered athletes at the games in Vancouver, Canada.
About 22 percent of the injuries resulted in athletes being
unable to train or compete, according to the report in the
September issue of the
British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Athletes competing in bobsledding, ice hockey, short track
skating, alpine freestyle skiing or snowboard cross were most
likely to suffer an injury or illness (ranging between 15 percent
and 35 percent). The lowest risk (less than 5 percent) was among
athletes in Nordic skiing events (cross country skiing, biathlon,
ski jumping and Nordic combined), luge, curling, speed skating and
The head, spine and knees were the most common injury sites, and
these injuries were almost as likely to occur during training (46
percent) as during competition (54 percent). However, three out of
four injuries suffered by snowboarding, freestyle cross skiing,
short track skating, figure skating, skeleton and biathlon athletes
occurred during training, reported Lars Engebretsen, of the Oslo
Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
in Oslo, Norway, and colleagues.
Among the other findings:
- The most common types of injuries were bruising, ligament and
- There was one death -- an athlete who died while training for
- Female athletes had a higher injury rate (131.1 per 1,000) than
men (93.3 per 1,000). About 20 percent of female athletes in
bobsled, ice hockey, snowboard cross and in freestyle cross and
aerials suffered an injury. Just under 28 percent of male athletes
were injured in short track, 17 percent in bobsled, and just under
16 percent in hockey.
- About 10 percent of athletes in skeleton, figure and speed
skating, curling, snowboard cross and biathlon had at least one
illness, 62 percent of which were respiratory infections.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases has more about
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