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  • Rio 2016 Illness Rates Lower Than Previous Games


    (ATR) A study of illnesses and injuries from the Rio 2016 Olympics shows overall athletes stayed healthier than the previous two Summer Olympics.

    The study published on July 29 in the British Journal of Medicine “recorded daily incidence of athlete injuries and illnesses through the reporting of all National Olympic Committee medical team and…Rio 2016 medical staff.” The full text from the study can be found here.

    Authors of the study were from a worldwide range of medical and academic institutions, including multiple members of the IOC’s medical and scientific department. Requests for comment from the IOC about the study were not returned.

    Data from the study showed that eight percent of athletes “incurred at least one injury” at Rio 2016, while five percent of athletes contracted an illness. Both percentages were down from the two previous Summer Olympics. Meanwhile, significant variation was seen in different sports in regards to injuries. BMX Cycling and boxing saw the highest rate of injury in Rio.

    The study noted the significance about the latter point, given the heightened concerns over the Zika virus as well as the potential for contracting water borne illnesses in Rio’s polluted waters. Ahead of the 2016 Olympics concerns mounted over Rio’s waterways, although the IOC and relevant federations maintained the athletes’ safety.

    The state of Rio de Janeiro did not meet its targets of treating sewage entering Guanabara Bay ahead of Rio 2016, and the goal of reaching those targets has been delayed indefinitely.

    “While the majority of illnesses in Rio (56%) were caused by an infection, the proportion of athletes contracting an infection (3%) was identical to London 2012 (3%) and lower than Sochi 2014 (5%),” the study read.

    Diving, open-water marathon, sailing, canoe slalom, equestrian and synchronized swimming were the sports with the highest rates of illnesses.

    The study notes that some “less serious” ailments not requiring medical attention may have been overlooked, and there may have been gaps in data collection from some NOCs.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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