Revista de Medicina Desportiva (English) September 2018 - Page 30

How many athletes died during the Olympic Games (OG)? Dr. Basil Ribeiro – V N Gaia It is a question that comes out when addressing the question about sudden death in sport and the safety of the high-performance sports practice by people well-conditioned and considered very healthy, that certainly were subjected to a strict medical screening. Of course, the regular practice of sports, with an intensity adapted to the regular physical condition, it is not only healthy, as safe. According to Dr. Todd Miller, a cardiologist from de Mayo Clinic, in USA, for the young athlete, under 30 years of age, there is an estimation of 80 deaths per year due to cardiovascular causes, while there are 20000 deaths/year due to accidents with motor vehi- cles, homicides and suicides. Since the OG in 1896, held in Ath- ens, two athletes have died during Summer OG. The first occurred in 1912, during the OG in Sweden: the Portuguese marathoner Francisco Lázaro, 21 years of age, died on the following day after collapsing at the km 29 of the marathon race. In order to minimize the loss of water by sweating (there are reports that refer the goal was the sun protection), he covered the whole body with fat. The absence of the control process of sweating-evaporation led to hyper- thermia and heat shock. Unfortu- nately, the promise he had made before the race was fulfilled: “Either I win, or I die.” The other situation occurred in the OG of Rome, in 1960, with the Danish cyclist Knut Jensen. On the 100km team time-trial, held under the temperature of 40 degrees, he suffered heat shock, collapsed dur- ing the race, felt and fractured the skull. It was also said he had taken stimulants (amphetamines and nicotinic tartrate), but this has not been officially confirmed. During the Winter OG the scenery is different, because the deaths can also come the trauma related to the accidents, in the small vehicles (photo) or on the skis. There are already four deaths arising from sports accidents: • Winter OG in Innsbruck, Austria, on 1964 • Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski, Polish, luger (light sleigh), died in training two weeks before the start of the Games • Ross Milne, Australian, 19 years of age, downhill skiing, died after crashing into a tree during trai- ning – Winter JO in Albertville, France, on 1992 • Nicolas Bochatay, Swiss, 27-year- -old, speed skier, died after crashing into a machine during training – Winter JO in Vancouver, Canada, on 2010 • Nodar Kumaritashvili (photo), of Georgia, 21 years of age, luger, died in the hospital hours before the start of the OG. He drove the sled at 143 miles per hour, crashed (was referred due to high speed) and eventually hit his head on a metal pole. Bibliography 1. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/athlete- deaths-rare-during-olympics/ 2. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle /867462?nlid=108933_3561&src=WNL_ mdplsfeat_160823_mscpedit_wir&uac=1303 8BR&spon=17&impID=1183948&faf=1#vp_3 JO de Atenas em 1896 Francisco Lázaro 28 september 2018 www.revdesportiva.pt Knut Jensen após a queda O atleta Nodar Kumaritashvili