Nordic venue medical services during the 2002 Winter Olympics

J Emerg Med. 2006 Feb;30(2):203-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2005.08.005.


This article represents a retrospective analysis of medical care provided to spectators, athletes, officials, and workforce at the cross country skiing and biathlon venue, Soldier Hollow, during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. A retrospective chart review was performed of the primary diagnosis category assigned to each patient on medical encounter forms completed at the time medical care was provided in the athlete or spectator medical clinics. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize data from the primary diagnosis categories for groups of patients. There were 590 total medical encounters among athlete and spectator medical services over 19 operational days with 227,847 total visitors (includes spectators, athletes, and workforce). The incidence of medical encounters was 26 per 10,000 visitors. There were 215 medical encounters that were evaluated and treated by a physician in the athlete (69 cases) or spectator (146 cases) medical clinics. The most common diagnoses were related to respiratory infection or respiratory disease. There were 177 patients discharged without follow-up and 26 referred to a medical facility off venue. Six patients were transported to a hospital by ground ambulance. In conclusion, the injuries and illnesses evaluated and treated were consistent with prior studies on medical care at Olympic Games. Although some patients required ground ambulance transport off venue due to injury or illness, there were no critical injuries or illnesses that resulted in death. The level of services available to both athletes and spectators was more than adequate for the injuries and illnesses encountered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anniversaries and Special Events*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sports*
  • Transportation of Patients / statistics & numerical data
  • Utah / epidemiology