Injuries during the European Youth Olympic Festival
In 2008, the International Olympics Committee developed an illness surveillance system to protect young healthy athletes, and to prevent injuries. Although recent data concerning injuries and illnesses from the traditional Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver 2010 and in Sochi 2014 is existent, only one study evaluated injury risks in young elite athletes in a winter multi-sport event in 2012. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the injury and illness occurence during the 12th W-EYOF in 2015.
The 12th W-EYOF was held in Austria and 899 young athletes aged between 14-18 years participated in eight winter sports. All National Olympic Comittees (NOC) were asked to report daily occurences of injuries and illnesses on a standardised form. Therefore an injury and illness were defined as an injury if the athlete received medical attention.
Among the 899 athletes an incidence of 38 injuries and 34 illnesses were reported. The highest prevalence of illness was in figure skating (10%) and Nordic combined (9%). The respiratory system was affected in 53% of all illnesses. In snowboard cross, the injury frequency of females was 22% compared to 4% in males. The lower back (16%), the pelvis (13%), the knee (11%), and the face (11%) were the most common injury locations. About 58% of injuries occurred in competition and 42% in training.
Overall, the number of athletes suffering from an injury or illness was about twofold lower compared to the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. It could be shown that the injury risk among young winter sport athletes is lower when fewer disciplines with direct or indirect opponent contact or without many aerial manoeuvres and high jumps are included in a multi-sport event for young athletes.
> From: Ruedl et al., Br J Sports Med 50 (2016) 631-636. All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.