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Close encounters of the US kind: illness and injury among US athletes at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games
  1. Dustin Nabhan1,2,
  2. Johann Windt1,2,
  3. David Taylor1,2,
  4. William Moreau3
  1. 1 Sports Medicine, United States Olymic Committee, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
  2. 2 US Coalition for Prevention of Illness and Injury in Sport, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
  3. 3 Sports Medicine, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dustin Nabhan, Sports Medicine, United States Olymic Committee, Colorado Springs, CO 80909, USA; Dustin.Nabhan{at}


Aim To describe injury and illness incidence during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games (WOG) by Team USA.

Methods A descriptive observational study. We used registered Team USA Olympic athletes’ electronic medical records to review preparticipation health histories and medical encounters immediately prior to and throughout the 2018 WOG. Medical encounters were defined as all medical services provided by a healthcare provider, including evaluation, treatment and prophylactic services. All medical conditions were described according to International Olympic Committee injury and illness reporting criteria.

Results Team USA included 134 men and 108 women, aged 18–39 years, who represented 17 sport federations. The 47 Team USA medical staff documented 1744 medical encounters on 242 registered athletes (7.2 medical encounters per athlete). Forty-seven illnesses (194.2/1000 athletes) and 32 time loss injuries (132.2/1000 athletes) were recorded during the Games.

Conclusions An injury surveillance programme consisting of an electronic preparticipation health history and surveillance of medical encounters during the WOG was used to describe the health status of Team USA. We noted limitations to the surveillance process that can be addressed at future events.

  • epidemiology
  • injury prevention
  • electronic medical records
  • informatics

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  • Contributors DN, JW and WM conceived, planned and collected data for the project. DT and JW completed the data analysis. All authors participated in writing the manuscript. DN and WM were in charge of the direction of the entire project.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests General Electric is mentioned in the manuscript as the electronic medical records vendor. The company is also a US Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee sponsor. This relationship has been described in a competing interests statement.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This project was approved by the ethics board of Southern California University of Health Sciences.

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

  • Data availability statement No data are available.