— Published 14 December 2022

Boxing and BMX top the list of most dangerous sports

A very unexpected, and little disered, legacy of the Tokyo Games: three of the new sports or disciplines of the last summer Olympic Games are in the top five for the number of injuries and accidents. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that 27% of boxers and BMX specialists were injured at the Tokyo Games. Just behind this leading duo are BMX freestyle (22% injured), a new discipline on the programme, and two additional sports, skateboarding (21%) and karate (19%). Climbing, another additional sport, which will join the programme more permanently from the Los Angeles 2028 Games onwards, ranks a few places further down, with 15% of injuries. In contrast, the least dangerous sports during the Games were diving, road cycling, rowing, open water swimming and shooting, each with between one and two per cent of injuries. The study reports that medical services and team doctors recorded 1,035 injuries (out of 11,315 athletes) and 438 cases of illness, or about 9 per cent injured and 4 per cent ill, for all Olympic sports. A large majority (58%) of the injuries occurred during competition, 34% during training, and a rest during warm-up or cool-down after the event. At the Tokyo Paralympic Games, injury rate dropped to just 8% of athletes (compared to 12% at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games). But injuries recorded were more serious.