Why Do The Olympics’ Leading Ladies Keep Getting Injured?

Poor Lindsey Vonn. She was on the top of everyone’s list of Winter Olympians to watch, and even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, butt high in the air, next to the words, “America’s Best Woman Skiier Ever.” But, sadly, she’s injured her shin, suffering a deep bruise during practice a week ago that has made putting her ski boot on an “excruciating” endeavor. News of her injury has sent sports stations into a frenzy of calculations on how it will affect her. Vonn remains hopeful that she will be healthy enough for a medal-winning performance, especially since she was slowed down by an injury at the 2006 Olympics that her cost her a top-three finish. [USA]

Interestingly, a study was recently released showing that women in sports suffer more, and from more severe injuries, at least in part because most training regimes are designed for men, who tend to have more resilient ligaments and stronger muscles. This sure seems to be the case. Lindsey is not nearly the only woman whose recent injuries might cost her her Olympic dreams. Here are some other sad stories.

  • Sasha Cohen. After a severe calf injury, Sasha didn’t even qualify for this year’s Olympics. Many were excited for her return after a four-year absence from the skating scene, but unfortunately her injuries caused her to finish fourth in the U.S. Figure Skating Championship. Sigh. [People]
  • Stacey Cook. Vonn’s teammate was injured and helicoptered to a hospital while practicing her downhill run in poor weather conditions. Cook was given a full exam at the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery in time for competition. So that’s good. [Houston Chronicle]
  • Violeta Stramaturaru. The Romanian luger suffered a vicious crash during practice in Vancouver that left her unconscious. Stramaturaru eventually limped away, but the Romanian team is concerned about her condition for competition. [San Fransisco Chronicle]
  • Megan Sweeney. The American luger also suffered an accident—on the same day as Stramaturaru. Sweeney’s injuries don’t look to be as serious, as she was able to walk away from the accident. So, perhaps we’ll see her kick butt in the games. [San Fransisco Chronicle]