Article Text

Download PDFPDF

223 Injury and illness epidemiology during the 53rd FIS nordic world ski championships 2021 in oberstdorf: a prospective cohort study
  1. Karsten Hollander1,
  2. Kastner Tom2,6,
  3. Weith Moritz3,
  4. Disch Alexander4,
  5. Porzig Florian5,
  6. Wolfarth Bernd2,6,
  7. Edouard Pascal7,8,
  8. Junge Astrid1,9
  1. 1MSH Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  2. 2Institute for Applied Training Science, Leipzig, Germany
  3. 3University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  4. 4University Medicine ‘Carl Gustav Carus’ at the TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  5. 5Gemeinschaftspraxis Drs. med. Porzig and Köberle, Fischen, Germany
  6. 6Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  7. 7University Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne, France
  8. 8University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  9. 9Swiss Concussion Center, Schulthess Klinik, Zürich, Germany


Background Nordic skiing consist of cross-country skiing (CC), ski jumping (SJ) and Nordic combined (NC). Only little injury and illness data from elite competitions in these sports are currently available.

Objective To analyse injuries and illnesses during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2021.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, 23rd February to 7th March 2021.

Participants All registered athletes (n=663).

Main Outcome Measure Daily report of newly incurred injuries and illnesses according to the respective IOC consensus statement (2020) by the medical teams.

Results About half of the nations (32/65), covering 51.6% of the registered athletes (n=342), participated in the study and returned 88.4% of the daily report forms. During the 12 championships days, 16 injuries were reported (incidence rate: 4.6%, 95%CI 2.4 to 6.9%), 12 in CC and 2 injuries each in NC and SJ. Six injuries affected the upper and 6 the lower extremities, 2 the lumbar-sacral spine/buttock and 2 the head. Most injuries occurred suddenly (n=13), 3 gradually. Eleven injuries (69%) were non-time-loss, Four injuries resulted in an estimated time-loss of 3–7 days, 1 in an estimated time-loss of 21 days (fracture of metacarpal bone).

Out of the 16 illnesses (incidence rate: 4.6%, 95%CI 2.4 to 6.9%), 11 were reported in CC, 3 in NC and 2 in SJ.. Regarding etiology, 5 illnesses were environmental (4 exercise-related and 1 non-exercise related), 4 infectious, 3 allergic, 2 metabolic/nutritional, 1 degenerative/chronic and 1 unknown. Most illness occurred suddenly (n=10), 4 gradually and 2 had a mixed mode of onset. Twelve illnesses (75%) were non-time-loss. Three illnesses resulted in an estimated time-loss of 3 days, 1 in an estimated time-loss of 20 days (COVID-19 infection).

Conclusion The injuries or illnesses incidence rate was lower than in Winter Olympic Games. The low illness rate might be due to COVID-19 hygiene measures.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.