In the Olympics, Geezer says, winning is everything, losing is everything else, and getting hurt is everything else, else. No, it doesn’t make sense, but athletes do get hurt competing in the Olympics, and we have Lars Engebretsen of the University of Oslo in Norway to thank for an informed study of which athletes are most likely to feel some pain. When Engebretsen analyzed the frequency, characteristics, and causes of injuries in the Summer Olympic Games 2008, he found that half of the injuries (49.6 percent) were serious enough to prevent the athlete from competing, and the most prevalent were ankle sprains and thigh strains. The majority (72.5 percent) of injuries happened in competition, rather than training, and one third of the injuries were caused by contact with another athlete. Injuries were reported from all sports, but athletes most likely to get hurt were those playing soccer, taekwondo, hockey, handball, weightlifting, and boxing (all ≥15 percent of the athletes). Those least like to get hurt were sailing, canoeing/kayaking, rowing, synchronized swimming, diving, fencing, and swimming.
the Scientific American to thank for telling us which athletes are most likely to feel the pain.