Martinez News-Gazette

Olympic Athletes More Injury Prone During Practice

Dr. Matthew Pecci tells the Martinez News-Gazette that more practice injuries occur than competition injuries, primarily due to practice schedules.

Practices at the Olympics goes on five or six 6 days a week, multiple hours a day, where competition might be only three heats spread over two days. Athletes are also attempting to practice skills and speeds to replicate in competition.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — With the kickoff of the Winter Olympics, elite athletes will spend the next two weeks dazzling millions of TV viewers worldwide with aerial acrobatics on snow and ice, yet Matthew Pecci, MD, a sports medicine physician at Muir Orthopedic Specialists in Walnut Creek, says Olympians are in greater jeopardy of injury in off-camera practice than during televised competition.

“That’s primarily because practice at the Olympics goes on five or six 6 days a week, multiple hours a day, where competition might be only three heats spread over two days,” says Pecci, who has frequently treated injured skiers and snowboarders and worked with Boston University’s men’s and women’s ice hockey teams for more than 10 years.

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