The Winter Olympics, much more so than the Summer Olympics, includes lots of sports that seem dangerous. Many of the sports involve incredible speed or jumps that are not found in the Summer games. Of all the events in the Winter games, which is the most dangerous?

To be more specific, I'm wondering, of all the sports in the Winter Olympics, which sport has the highest rate of serious injuries or fatalities among participants; not necessarily only during the Olympics, but in general by people participating in the sport at a competitive level.

  • Yeah, agreed that "dangerous" is ambiguous. How would you want to quantify "dangerous?" # of injuries? # of deaths? Risk...even with "risk," it remains ambiguous.
    – user527
    Feb 10, 2014 at 14:25
  • @edmastermind29 Thanks, I've edited the question to be more specific. Let me know if it still needs work.
    – Ben Miller
    Feb 10, 2014 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


The definition of what is the most dangerous Winter Olympic sport is dependent on how you quantify 'dangerous'. An obvious definition would be the number of fatalities. Whilst it is hard to find statistics for winter sports as a whole, the number of fatalities at the Winter Olympic games has totalled 4, with two of them occuring in the Luge:

  1. Ross Milne (19), Australia – Downhill Skiing – 1964, Innsbruck - Ski collision in practice
  2. Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypecki, Britain – Luge – 1964, Innsbruck - Luge crash in practice
  3. Nicolas Bochatay (27), Switzerland – Speed Skiing (demonstration sport) – 1992, Albertville - Collided with a snow machine in practice.
  4. Nodar Kumaritashvili (21), Georgia – Luge – 2010, Vancouver - Luge crash in practice.

Quantifying this is, as I say, difficult, but it is obvious that the higher the speed and the more acrobatic an event is then the higher the risk of injury. Two good discussions are presented on these sites:

  • 1
    This is a good answer with an equally good assumption. The 2010 death of Nodar Kumaritashvili was the first in the sport of Luge since 1975 according to the International Luge Federation.
    – user527
    Feb 10, 2014 at 14:58

It depends on what you mean by dangerous.

In Winter Olympic history it will happened twice that a Luge athlete died during the (practice) competion

  • Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypecki, - Luge - 1964, Innsbruck
  • Nodar Kumaritashvili, - Luge - 2010, Vancouver

other death in Winter Olympic competition were:

  • Ross Milne, – Downhill Skiing – 1964, Innsbruck
  • Nicolas Bochatay, – Speed Skiing – 1992, Albertville

Generally there were several tragical moment in winter sport (not during Olympic events) and I think alpine skying is where it happened most than other speciality (Ulrike Maier, Regine Cavagnoud, Nick Zoricic)

Another interesting article on injury in Olympic sports

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