‘Safety’ ski suits considered after report highlights skiing injury risks
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, used by the International Ski Federation in building safety precautions, found high rates of injuries among alpine ski athletes.
The study, conducted between 2006 and 2009, found a total of 291 acute injuries were recorded among 662 World Cup freestyle skiers.
Ninety-three injuries were severe, with athletes missing training and competition for 28 days or more.
In the discipline of ski cross, the study found its group of 269 interviewed athletes suffered on average 14 injuries per 23 runs.
In January, FIS presented built-in airbag systems in ski suits that inflate in a crash. The suit is supposed to help in protection of the skier’s back, chest, shoulders and collarbones.
FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis said the system is currently being tested in alpine disciplines. The system is currently not being tested for the super pipe.
“I don’t know anything about those suits. I don’t foresee it coming into the sport,” Travis Firth, Alpine Canada’s ski cross competitions co-ordinator said Saturday.
In a January release by FIS, the suits are aimed for top-level alpine skiing. The project launch date is expected to come in time for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.