Objective To describe the injury and illness characteristics among participating athletes during the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games (YOG 2020), 9–22 January 2020.
Methods The daily number of athlete injuries and illnesses were recorded (1) through the reporting of all National Olympic Committee (NOC) medical teams and (2) in the polyclinic and medical venues by the Lausanne 2020 medical staff.
Results In total, 1783 athletes from 79 NOCs were observed. NOC and Lausanne 2020 medical staff reported 228 injuries and 167 illnesses, equating 11.7 injuries and 8.6 illnesses per 100 athletes over the 14-day period. Injury incidence was highest for snowboard slopestyle (39%), bobsleigh (36%), snowboard big air (29%), ski slopestyle (29%), snowboard cross (24%) and ski cross (21%), and lowest for speed skating, snowboard halfpipe and curling (2%–4%). The highest incidence of illness was recorded for curling (21%), ski mountaineering (15%), snowboard halfpipe (13%), bobsleigh (11%), cross-country skiing (10%) and figure skating (10%). Almost one-third of injuries were expected to result in time loss and 17% of illnesses. Most injuries occurred to the knee (12%) and head (11%), and 64% of illnesses affected the respiratory system. Overall, women suffered more injuries and illness than males.
Conclusion Overall, injury and illness rates were similar compared with recent YOG. While the rate and characteristics of injury and illness varied between sports, consistent patterns across YOG are emerging. If addressed, changes in highlighted areas of risk could have a positive impact on the health and well-being of these young athletes.
- injury prevention
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Twitter @DebbiePalmerOLY, @larsengebretsen, @CarrardJustin, @KarstenKnigste1, @debbiejmaurer, @lauren_zh, @TSoligard
Contributors All authors contributed to the study conception and design, data collection and interpretation. DP analysed the data and drafted the paper. All authors provided revisions and contributed to the final manuscript. DP 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 approved by the medical research ethics committee of the Southeastern Norway Regional Health Authority (REK no. 67524), in line with previous youth and senior Olympic Games studies.
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 supplemental information.
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