Snow Worries: Sochi Olympics, Second Week

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Winter in Sochi 🙂

I was reading the Washington Post the other day, and came across an article with a clever title:  “At Sochi Olympics, Finding Risk is Snow Problem.”

It took your less than clever blogger here a moment to get that…….

Now that I do, I’m modifying the word play for this post’s title.

But the story under the headline I ‘got’ right away.  The Post reporter was arguing that the Sochi snow (quality and quantity) was a danger to competitors, and was possibly increasing the incidence and severity of injuries seen this Olympics.

Like most of you, I have followed the Sochi Olympics with great interest.  The sport is central to my enjoyment; but I also am intoxicated by the scenes of the beautiful Caucasus mountains set so close to a warm, subtropical coastline.  I don’t know if any other Winter Games have been hosted in a city with palm trees.

So, the snow:  so central to a Winter Olympics.  Is it a problem?  We can wait to tally up IOC medical charts, but you can also weigh in with your opinion on our poll below!

And if you’re especially enterprising–and you’re collecting data on this or other epidemiologic issues central to the Sochi Olympics–by all means submit a manuscript to the journal!  We frequently publish studies looking at the Olympics or the effect of sporting surface on injury rates.  We’d love to hear from clinicians/researchers/epidemiologists who have written up their studies and are looking for a quality journal to review their work.

Until then:  take the poll!

*poll can also be found on the journal’s main website

Once More Unto the Breach

henry v

Shakespeare and sports medicine:
A perfect mix

I’ll bookend this post with two heavyweights of Western Civilization: Shakespeare and Paul of Tarsus (a.k.a. St. Paul).   This must be an important issue!

Once more unto the breach dear friends!  Like Shakespeare’s Harry, I’ll head into the fray and pick up the thread of a conversation that dominated this blog a week ago, when we were discussing a position statement on Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Legislation (MHL).  Take a chance to look back at the entire blog, there have been several posts and over a hundred comments on the issue.

You’ll find two different polls in that series of posts.  I tallied up the votes on November 20 (the ‘polls are still open,’ and so the numbers will keep adding up) and wanted to share them with you.

On the question of whether there should be mandatory bicycle helmet legislation, the respondents voted so: 245 no, 31 yes, 2 undecided.

The next poll asked the question:  if you are opposed to MHL, what single issue most informs your opinion.  The choices (and votes for) are:

73 voters thought that MHL put the focus on the wrong group for an intervention; bike safety begins with road and car driver safety.

48 thought that MHL sent an inappropriate message:  that MHL indicated biking is risky behavior, when it is inherently safe.

29 were concerned that MHL negatively affected bicycle ridership (decreased rates of biking).

9 thought that MHL was an unjustified restriction of their civil liberties.

And 9 thought that MHL weren’t helpful in reducing what they are purported to do:  reduce bicyle-related head trauma.

I put these vote results, from a decidedly non-scientific poll, in graphical form below.  The vast majority of poll respondents oppose MHL, and a plurality are concerned that the focus on bike safety needs to be placed not on personal protective equipment for bicyclists, but on making roads safer and car drivers’ more cognizant of their responsibility to share the road.

MHL reformattedreason for opposition

Read more of this post

Mandatory Bicycle Helmets for Cyclists: Tell us What You Think

I hope the CJSM and CJSM blog readers have had the chance now to take a look at this month’s CJSM to read the CASEM statement on mandatory bicycle helmet use and the accompanying editorial by Murray Maitland. We wrote a blog post about the subject earlier this week and have heard back from some of you on our twitter feed @cjsmonline.

I wanted to give more of the on-line a community to share their thoughts, and so I’ve set up a poll (below).  Please vote,  and I also want to encourage you to scroll to the bottom of this blog post where you can leave your comments to engage with us and others in an on-line discussion about this important, controversial sports medicine and public health issue.

Exercise your right to vote!  Make your voices heard!  As Dr. Maitland writes, “Don’t say something by not saying something.”  Vote and “Leave a Reply,” but please remember to be civil.  All comments are moderated.   Thanks for your engagement!

p.s. I’ve received so many comments on this and the previous post, especially from folks in Australia and New Zealand where MHL is in place, that I wanted to share a monograph from the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety (CARRS).  It is a comprehensive review of so many of the aspects of this issue brought up by the people writing in:  CARRS’ Bicycle Helmet Research, Monograph 5.  Check it out.

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