Objective To describe the incidence of injuries and illnesses sustained during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, hosted by PyeongChang on 9–25 February 2018.
Methods We recorded the daily number of athlete injuries and illnesses (1) through the reporting of all National Olympic Committee (NOC) medical teams and (2) in the polyclinic and medical venues by the PyeongChang 2018 medical staff.
Results In total, 2914 athletes (1210 women, 42%; 1704 men, 58%) from 92 NOCs were observed for occurrence of injury and illness. NOC and PyeongChang 2018 medical staff reported 376 injuries and 279 illnesses, equalling 12.6 injuries and 9.4 illnesses per 100 athletes over the 17-day period. Altogether, 12% of the athletes incurred at least one injury and 9% at least one illness. The injury incidence was highest in ski halfpipe (28%), snowboard cross (26%), ski cross (25%), snowboard slopestyle (21%) and aerials (20%), and lowest in Nordic combined, biathlon, snowboard slalom, moguls and cross-country skiing (2%–6%). Of the 376 injuries recorded, 33% and 13% were estimated to lead to ≥1 day and >7 days of absence from sport, respectively. The highest incidences of illness were recorded in biathlon (15%), curling (14%), bobsleigh (14%) and snowboard slalom (13%). Thirty per cent of the illnesses were expected to result in time loss, and 70% affected the respiratory system. Women suffered 61% more illnesses than men.
Conclusion Overall, 12% of the athletes incurred at least one injury during the Games and 9% an illness, incidences that are similar to the Olympic Winter Games of 2010 and 2014.
- winter sports
- elite athletes
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Contributors All authors contributed to the study conception and design, and data collection and interpretation. TS analysed the data and drafted the paper. All authors provided revisions and contributed to the final manuscript. TS is the guarantor.
Funding The IOC funded the data collection of the study.
Competing interests TS works as Scientific Manager in the Medical and Scientific Department of the IOC. LE is Head of Scientific Activities in the Medical and Scientific Department of the IOC, and Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study was reviewed by the Medical Research Ethics Committee of the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (2011/388).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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