Nearly 10 percent of athletes have sustained injuries at the 2010 Winter Olympics and another seven percent have taken ill, according to a recent report by researchers in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The data come from the head doctors of 82 National Olympic Committees who monitored athletes' health during the February 12-28 Vancouver Games, and from "Olympic clinics" at Vancouver and Whistler.
AdvertisementIn all, 287 injuries were reported among the 2,567 athletes who were covered in the study, and 185 illnesses were recorded.
The most dangerous sports were bobsleigh, ice hockey, short track, alpine freestyle and snowboard cross, which notched up injury rates of between 15 and 35 percent depending on the discipline.
The risk was lowest for Nordic skiing, luge, curling, speed skating and freestyle moguls, where fewer than five percent of participants got hurt.
The luge event, however, was marked by the death of Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died after his sled hurtled off the luge track at Whistler and slammed into a steel pillar.
Half of the injuries occurred in training and half in competition, and most usually entailed bruises or strains to the head, spine and knee. In nearly a quarter of cases, the injuries prevented the athlete from training or competing.
The study, headed by Lars Engebretsen, a professor of sports medicine at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, aims at improving injury prevention in top-level competition.