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Sports injuries and illnesses in the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games
  1. Kathrin Steffen1,2,
  2. Christine Holm Moseid1,3,
  3. Lars Engebretsen1,2,
  4. Pia K Søberg4,
  5. Olav Amundsen4,
  6. Kristian Holm4,5,
  7. Thomas Moger4,5,
  8. Torbjørn Soligard2
  1. 1Department of Sports Medicine, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2Medical and Scientific Department, International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland
  3. 3University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee, Lillehammer, Norway
  5. 5Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kathrin Steffen, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, PB 4014 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo N-0806, Norway; kathrin.steffen{at}


Background Injury and illness surveillance during high-level youth sports events is an important first step in health prevention and caretaking of the young elite athletes.

Aim To analyse injuries and illnesses that occurred during the 10 days 2nd Youth Olympic Winter Games (YOG), held in Lillehammer 2016.

Methods We recorded the daily occurrence (or non-occurrence) of injuries and illnesses through the reporting of (1) all National Olympic Committee (NOC) medical teams and (2) the polyclinic and medical venues by the Lillehammer Organising Committee (LYOCOG) medical staff.

Results In total, 1083 athletes (48 double-starters), 46% (n=502) of them females, from 70 NOCs were registered in the study. NOCs and LYOCOG reported 108 injuries and 81 illnesses, equalling to 9.5 injuries and 7.2 illnesses per 100 athletes. The percentage of injured athletes was highest in the snowboard and ski slopestyle and cross disciplines, alpine skiing and skeleton, and lowest in the Nordic skiing disciplines. Approximately, two-thirds of the injuries (n=71, 65.7%) prevented the athlete from training or competition, while 10 injuries (9.3%) were registered with an estimated absence from sport for >7 days. The rate of illness was highest in curling and the Nordic skiing disciplines with most of them being respiratory tract infections (81.5%).

Conclusions Overall, 9% of the athletes incurred at least one injury during the games, and 7% an illness, which is similar to the first YOG in Innsbruck 2012 and slightly lower compared with previous Winter Olympic Games. The incidence of injuries and illnesses varied substantially between sports.

  • Surveillance
  • Athlete
  • Young
  • Injuries
  • Illness

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  • Twitter Follow Torbjørn Soligard at @TSoligard

  • Contributors KS, KH, TM, LE and TS contributed to the study design and data recoding preparation. All authors were responsible for the data collection and analysis, and KS wrote the first draft. All authors contributed to the final paper. KS, LE and TS are responsible for the overall content as guarantors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the medical research ethics committee of the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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