The Province

‘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.

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