Background The Whistler Sliding Centre (WSC) in British Columbia, Canada, has played host to many events including the 2010 Winter Olympics. This study was performed to better understand sliding sport incident (crash, coming off sled, etc) and injury prevalence and provide novel insights into the effect of slider experience and track-specific influences on injury risk and severity.
Methods Track documentation and medical records over 4 years (2007 track inception to 2011) were used to form 3 databases, including over 43 200 runs (all sliding disciplines). Statistics were generated relating incident and injury to start location, crash location and slider experience as well as to understand injury characteristics.
Results Overall injury rate was found to be 0.5%, with more severe injury occurring in <0.1% of the total number of runs. More frequent and severe injuries were observed at lower track locations. Of 2605 different sliders, 73.6% performed 1–29 runs down the track. Increased slider experience was generally found to reduce the frequency of injury. Lacerations, abrasions and contusions represented 52% of all injuries. A fatality represented the most severe injury on the track and was the result of track ejection.
Conclusions By investigating the influence of start location, incident location and slider experience on incident and injury frequency and severity, a better understanding has been achieved of the inherent risks involved in sliding sports. Incident monitoring, with particular focus on track ejection, should be an emphasis of sliding tracks.
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