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The Most Common Injuries at the Olympics

A Look At Olympic Injuries

The Olympics have returned and we are taking a look at some of the most common sports injuries for athletes during the games. Dr. Halbrecht is a Bay Area sports medicine doctor who was the Medical Director for the woman’s pro ski tour for 10 years and has great passion for skiing and sports medicine. During the summer Olympics Games that took place in Rio de Janeiro, participants suffering devastating injuries were quite a common occurrence, with some taking place just four days after the commencement of the event.

In one particular case, the world watched in astonishment as the well-known French Gymnast, Samir Ait Said suffered a fractured tibia and fibula whilst vaulting. Other scenarios such as this also occurred when Vincenzo Nibali, an Italian cyclist, unfortunately broke his collarbone in two areas, and Annemiek Van Vleuten, also a Dutch cyclist, went head first over her bikes handlebars, suffering severe injuries.

However, despite all these events taking place, an expert sports injury specialist, like Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht states that the frequency and intensity of injuries at this particular Olympics was not so different than the ones seen during other similar occasions that took place over the past decade.

Frequency of injuries among athletes

According to the statistics, the overall injury rate was pretty much the same as those seen in most recent Winter Games, with the figures standing at 14 injuries for every 100 athletes. When it comes to the summer games, the numbers were 13 injuries for every 100 athletes.

Experts went on to add that during the Winter Games, it is correct to expect more severe injuries in various high velocity sports such as snowboarding and alpine skiing, whereas in the summer, aside from cycling, very few serious injuries occur.

For each competition, researchers from various accredited universities working in the field of sports injuries examined reports filed by all of the National Olympic Committee medical staff, including physicians responsible for treating athletes at on-site medical clinics and venues.


– In 2008, the researchers submitted reports detailing 1,055 injuries among the 10,942 athletes who were competing in the Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing, 72% of which happened when the athletes were competing.

– During the 2010 summer games, the researchers documented 1,361 injuries from the 10,568 participants. However, most of them took place between competitions and training.

– In the 2012 summer games held in London, 1,361 of the 10,568 participants suffered injuries, with 55% of them occurring when the athletes were competing.

– The Winter Olympics of 2014 held in Sochi, Russia, saw 391 out of the 2,780 athletes competing get injured, with 35% of them occurring during competition.

– In 2014, there were 391 injuries reported among the 2,780 athletes at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Only 35% of those injuries were sustained in competition.

It is of no surprise that athletes will get injured during sports. It is interesting to read the statistics and follow up on treatments that the athletes received to see how that affects how quickly they get “back in the game”. Proper treatment of a sports injury is very important to how quickly athletes heal after an injury. Are you in need of Bay Area sports medicine?

Getting injured doesn’t have to keep you from the sport you love. If you have a sports injury and would like to “get back in your game” more quickly, please contact IASM for a consultation with Dr. Halbrecht. He is the best sports injury specialist in the Bay Area.

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