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Medical services at the 2017 Sapporo Asian winter games: injury and illness epidemiology at a 34-nation multisport event
  1. Kota Watanabe1,2,
  2. Takao Akama1,3,
  3. Shin Asakawa1,4,
  4. Kimitaka Fukuda1,5,
  5. Hiroya Sakai1,6,
  6. Toru Okuwaki1,7,
  7. Tomohito Imai1,5,
  8. Hiroko Sato1,8,
  9. Masaki Katayose1,2,
  10. Manikavasagam Jegathesan9,
  11. Nadia Al Shamali9
  1. 1Medical Committee of the 8th Asian Winter Games Organising Committee, Sapporo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Physical Therapy, Sapporo Medical University, Sapporo, Japan
  3. 3Faculty of Sports Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan
  4. 4The Japan Anti-Doping Agency, Tokyo, Japan
  5. 5Ito Seikeigeka Hospital, Sapporo, Japan
  6. 6Saitama Prefectural University, Koshigaya, Japan
  7. 7Japan Institute of Sports Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
  8. 8Iwate Prefectural Isawa Hospital, Oshu, Japan
  9. 9Medical Committee and Anti-Doping Commission of the Olympic Council of Asia, Kuwait City, Kuwait
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kota Watanabe, Department of Physical Therapy, Sapporo Medical University School of Health Sciences, Hokkaido 060-8556, Japan; wkota{at}


Objectives We describe the medical services provided and report the injuries and illnesses that occurred at the eighth Asian Winter Games 2017.

Methods A total of 2010 athletes and team officials from 32 National Olympic Committees and 2 guest countries attended this event; medical services were provided for 16 days. Medical data (medical care and physiotherapy) were collected for the same period by the organising committee for athletes and non-athletes (team officials, workforce, media and spectators) and recorded on the electronic medical record system at the medical rooms in the venues and the team residences.

Results We recorded 745 medical encounters (medical care, 443; physiotherapy, 302), of which 549 (74%) were among athletes. There were 214 injuries as well as 144 illnesses and other medical conditions. Of the 1164 athletes, 549 (47%) utilised the services. Ice hockey, snowboarding and alpine skiing had high rate of medical encounters. More than half of the delegations were not accompanied by team doctor, and rate of medical encounters was high in these teams. The vast majority of patients transferred to hospital for further care were mostly athletes (n=36 out of 41), mostly alpine skiers and ice hockey players.

Conclusion Injuries and illnesses varied depending on NOC medical staffing and sport events. These data will serve organisers of medical and physiotherapy services in the Asian Winter Games and similar large events.

  • sports injury
  • medical service
  • epidemiology
  • surveillance
  • illness

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  • Contributors KW and TA: gathered the data. SA, KF, HS, TO, TI, HS and MK: analysed the data. KW and MK: wrote the initial drafts. KW: revised the initial drafts. MJ and NS: revised the manuscript. TA, SA, KF, HS, TO, TI, HS and MK: ensure the accuracy of the data and the manuscript.

  • 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 None declared.

  • Ethics approval The design of this study was approved by the Olympic Council of Asia.

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

  • Data sharing statement The data for this study were obtained from the original data preserved in The 8th Asian Winter Games Organising Committee.