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Complete inclusion of adaptive rowing only 1000 m ahead
  1. Tomislav Smoljanovic1,
  2. Ivan Bojanic1,
  3. Jo A Hannafin2,
  4. Axel Urhausen3,4,
  5. Daniel Theisen4,
  6. Romain Seil4,5,
  7. Alain Lacoste6
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Center Zagreb, School of Medicine, Zagreb University, Zagreb, Croatia
  2. 2Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University New York, New York, USA
  3. 3Clinique du Sport, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg-Clinique d'Eich, Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  4. 4Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, Maison Médicale—Fondation Norbert Metz, Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  5. 5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg-Clinique d'Eich, Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  6. 6Avenue de la Gare 193, 73130, Saint-Etienne-de-Cuines, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tomislav Smoljanovic, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Center Zagreb, School of Medicine, Zagreb University, Salata 7, Zagreb 10000, Croatia; drsmoljanovic{at}yahoo.com

Abstract

Adaptive rowing (AR) at the Paralympic level is accessible for rowers with physical disability. AR was included for the first time in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. Racing distance for all AR events is currently 1000 m, which impedes public recognition of this sport and leads to many organisational challenges during the inclusive World Rowing Championships. The aim of this report was to discuss the feasibility of increasing AR race distance to 2000 m from a sports injury and athletic health perspective. As limited data on injury and illness risks exist in AR, knowledge and experiences had to be taken from other Paralympic sports. The anticipated duration of 2000 m AR competitions is either comparable or considerably lower than that of the other Paralympic disciplines with similar characteristics. AR has inherent injury and health risks especially within thorax, shoulders and low back region, but they are not expected to be significantly modified by increased racing times. Specific considerations need to be taken into account for athletes with a spinal cord injury, like in other sport disciplines. There are no distinctive contra-indications for AR events of 2000 m based on the current literature review and a 10-year experience in this sport. Long-term follow-ups are needed to understand fully the injury and health risk associated with AR and to develop appropriate prevention strategies.

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