Injury rate and injury patterns among alpine European Cup athletes: are injury rates and injury patterns different between European Cup and World Cup athletes?
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Alpine skiing is a popular winter sport with more than 200 million skiers worldwide (1). In 1936, at Garmich-Partenkinchen, male and female alpine skiing became a part of the official Olympic programme (2). The International Ski Federation (FIS) was established in 1924, and today 123 National Ski Associations comprise the membership of FIS (3). The FIS Alpine World Cup (WC) is today one of the most popular winter sports with the highest broadcasting time (4). Winning the total WC requires extremely high levels of skiing throughout the whole season. It is considered by experts to be even more athletically valuable than winning a gold medal in the Olympic Winter Games (OWG) or the World Ski Championships (WSC) (5). Research has shown that participation in sports and physical activity can lead to several health benefits (6). However, sport participation may also present a danger of health in the form of accidents and injuries. Sport injuries may cause discomfort and disability, and the injured athlete may be forced to give up or cut down his or her sporting activities. These injuries are often associated with considerable medical expenses (6, 7). Previous studies have reported a high risk of injuries among alpine WC athletes (8, 9). A qualitative study examined the psychological processes associated with injury and illness among elite Canadian skiers. Sustaining an injury led to several psychological impacts, such as concerns about the future and the ski career and thoughts about quitting (10). No previous studies have, to our knowledge, investigated injury risk and patterns among athletes competing in sublevels of the WC, such as the Alpine European Cup (EC).
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2015