Research Output

Sports injuries and illnesses in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic summer games: A prospective study of 11 274 athletes from 207 countries

  Objective: To describe the pattern of injuries and illnesses sustained during the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, hosted by Rio de Janeiro from 5 to 21 August2016.

Methods: We recorded the daily occurrence 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 Rio 2016 medical staff.

Results: In total, 11 274 athletes (5089 women, 45%; 6185 men, 55%) from 207 NOCs participated in the study. NOC and Rio 2016 medical staff reported 1101 injuries and 651 illnesses, equalling 9.8 injuries and 5.4 illnesses per 100 athletes over the 17-day period.
Altogether, 8% of the athletes incurred at least one injury and 5% at least one illness. The proportion of athletes injured was highest in BMX cycling (38%), boxing (30%), mountain bike cycling (24%), taekwondo (24%), water polo (19%) and rugby (19%), and lowest
in canoe slalom, rowing, shooting, archery, swimming, golf and table tennis (0%–3%). Of the 1101 injuries recorded, 40% and 20% were estimated to lead to ≥1 and >7 days of absence from sport, respectively. Females suffered 40% more illnesses than males. Illness was generally less common than injury, with the highest
proportion seen in diving (12%), open-water marathon (12%), sailing (12%), canoe slalom (11%), equestrian (11%) and synchronised swimming (10%). Illnesses were also less severe, with 18% expected to result in time loss. The most commonly affectedly systems were the respiratory (47%) and digestive systems (21%).
The anticipated problem of infections in Rio did not materialise, as the proportion of athletes with infectious diseases mirrored that of recent Olympic Games (3%).

Conclusion: Overall, 8% of the athletes incurred at least one injury during the Olympic Games, and 5% an illness, which is slightly lower than in prior Olympic Games.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    29 July 2017

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • DOI:

    10.1136/bjsports-2017-097956

  • ISSN:

    0306-3674

  • Library of Congress:

    RC1200 Sports Medicine

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    617 Surgery & related medical specialties

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Soligard, T., Steffen, K., Palmer, D., Alonso, J. M., Bahr, R., Lopes, A. D., …Engebretsen, L. (2017). Sports injuries and illnesses in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic summer games: A prospective study of 11 274 athletes from 207 countries. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(17), (1265-1271). doi:10.1136/bjsports-2017-097956. ISSN 0306-3674

Authors

Keywords

Sports Injuries, Olymic Summer Games, Rio de Janeiro,

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