Sports injury and illness incidence in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games: A prospective study of 2914 athletes from 92 countries

Torbjørn Soligard, Debbie Palmer, Kathrin Steffen, Alexandre Dias Lopes, Marie Elaine Grant, Doosup Kim, Sae Yong Lee, Natalia Salmina, Brett G. Toresdahl, Joon Young Chang, Richard Budgett, Lars Engebretsen

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Abstract

To describe the incidence of injuries and illnesses sustained during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, hosted by PyeongChang on 9-25 February 2018. Methods We recorded the daily number of athlete 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 PyeongChang 2018 medical staff. Results In total, 2914 athletes (1210 women, 42%; 1704 men, 58%) from 92 NOCs were observed for occurrence of injury and illness. NOC and PyeongChang 2018 medical staff reported 376 injuries and 279 illnesses, equalling 12.6 injuries and 9.4 illnesses per 100 athletes over the 17-day period. Altogether, 12% of the athletes incurred at least one injury and 9% at least one illness. The injury incidence was highest in ski halfpipe (28%), snowboard cross (26%), ski cross (25%), snowboard slopestyle (21%) and aerials (20%), and lowest in Nordic combined, biathlon, snowboard slalom, moguls and cross-country skiing (2%-6%). Of the 376 injuries recorded, 33% and 13% were estimated to lead to ≥1 day and >7 days of absence from sport, respectively. The highest incidences of illness were recorded in biathlon (15%), curling (14%), bobsleigh (14%) and snowboard slalom (13%). Thirty per cent of the illnesses were expected to result in time loss, and 70% affected the respiratory system. Women suffered 61% more illnesses than men. Conclusion Overall, 12% of the athletes incurred at least one injury during the Games and 9% an illness, incidences that are similar to the Olympic Winter Games of 2010 and 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1092
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume53
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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    Soligard, T., Palmer, D., Steffen, K., Lopes, A. D., Grant, M. E., Kim, D., Lee, S. Y., Salmina, N., Toresdahl, B. G., Chang, J. Y., Budgett, R., & Engebretsen, L. (2019). Sports injury and illness incidence in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games: A prospective study of 2914 athletes from 92 countries. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(17), 1085-1092. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2018-100236