A comprehensive injury surveillance of 92 national teams and a total of 10997 athletes during the Beijing Olympics revealed a high number of injuries that prevented the athlete from participating in competition or training.
A new published paper in the American Journal of Sports Medicine reported the frequency, characteristics, and causes of injuries incurred during the Summer Olympics 2008.
In total, 1055 injuries were reported, resulting in an incidence of 96.1 injuries per 1000 registered athletes.
The majority (72.5%) of injuries occurred during competition, and the most prevalent diagnoses were ankle sprains and thigh strains. One third of the injuries were caused by contact with another athlete, followed by overuse (22%) and non-contact incidents (20%).
The injury risk was highest in soccer, taekwondo, hockey, handball, weightlifting, and boxing (all ≥15% of the athletes) and lowest for sailing, canoeing/kayaking, rowing, synchronized swimming, diving, fencing, and swimming. Half of the injuries were of such severity that they did not allow the athletes to compete or train. The results highlight areas of high risk for sport injury such as the in-competition period, the ankle and thigh, and specific sports.
Involved in this paper were Astrid Junge, Lars Engebretsen, Margo Mountjoy, Juan Manuel Alonso, Per Renström, Marc Aubry and Jiri Dvorak.
Read the paper in American Journal of Sports Medicine.