Winter Olympics Are Dangerous

Sep 8, 2010
Outside Magazine

Vancouver Olympic Cauldron

Courtesy of Michael Francis McCarthy on Flickr.

An study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine tallied 287 documented injuries - including 20 concussions and one death - among 2,567 competitors at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancounver, ESPN reports. Athletes' heads, spines, and knees were damaged most often, and 25 percent of all injuries sustained were grave enough to prevent immediate training or competition.

"Overall, we are a little concerned about the increasing number of injuries that are not just minor," Arne Ljungqvist, medical commission head of the International Olympic Committee, said. "But it seems there is a conflict - the interest of making sport more interesting perhaps but also a little more dangerous."

Statistically, the most dangerous event this year at the Vancouver Games was women's snowboardcross, in which 16 of 22 competitors (72.7 percent) sustained injuries. According to the study, men's snowboardcross, bobsled, ice hockey, short-track speedskating, freestyle skiing, and alpine skiing were also among the most dangerous. Nordic skiing, curling, luge, and freestyle moguls all proved least so.

--Riley Blanton

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