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Sports injuries and illnesses in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Soligard, Torbj�rn; Steffen, Kathrin; Palmer-Green, Debbie; Aubry, Mark; Grant, Marie-Elaine; Meeuwisse, Willem; Mountjoy, Margo; Budgett, Richard; Engebretsen, Lars


Torbj�rn Soligard

Kathrin Steffen

Debbie Palmer-Green

Mark Aubry

Marie-Elaine Grant

Willem Meeuwisse

Margo Mountjoy

Richard Budgett

Lars Engebretsen


Background: systematic surveillance of injuries and
illnesses is the foundation for developing preventive
measures in sport.
Aim: to analyse the injuries and illnesses that occurred
during the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi in
Methods: we recorded the daily occurrence (or nonoccurrence) of injuries and illnesses (1) through the
reporting of all National Olympic Committee (NOC) medical
teams and (2) in the polyclinic and medical venues by the
Sochi 2014 medical staff.
Results: NOC and Sochi 2014 medical staff reported 391
injuries and 249 illnesses among 2780 athletes from 88
NOCs, equalling incidences of 14 injuries and 8.9 illnesses
per 100 athletes over an 18-day period of time. Altogether,
12% and 8% of the athletes incurred at least one injury or
illness, respectively. The percentage of athletes injured was
highest in aerial skiing, snowboard slopestyle, snowboard
cross, slopestyle skiing, halfpipe skiing, moguls skiing,
alpine skiing, and snowboard halfpipe. Thirty-nine per cent
of the injuries were expected to prevent the athlete from
participating in competition or training. Women suffered
50% more illnesses than men. The rate of illness was
highest in skeleton, short track, curling, cross-country
skiing, figure skating, bobsleigh and aerial skiing. A total
of 159 illnesses (64%) affected the respiratory system, and
the most common cause of illness was infection (n=145,
Conclusions: overall, 12% of the athletes incurred at
least one injury during the games, and 8% an illness,
which is similar to prior Olympic Games. The incidence of
injuries and illnesses varied substantially between sports.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 18, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 28, 2015
Publication Date Jan 28, 2015
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2016
Print ISSN 0306-3674
Electronic ISSN 1473-0480
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 7
Pages 441-447
Keywords Sports injuries; illnesses; Olympic Games;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jan 20, 2016


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