Winter Olympic Fever Prompts 7 Million to Try Out Seasonal Sports

One in eight people plan to take up new winter sports following the Beijing games

7 million adults have been inspired by performances at this year’s Winter Olympics, so much so that they’re planning on taking up a new winter sport.

A study by independent charitable hospital, King Edward VII’s has found that a quarter of Britons plan to try out a new winter sport this year, with many crediting the excitement of the 2022 games for prompting them to jet off to the slopes, or try out new activities.

Ambitious holidaymakers are planning more than straightforward snowboarding and skiing sessions; figure skating and curling have proven to be the most popular activities that adults fancy trying out post-Beijing.

Beyond admiring the sporting prowess of Olympic hopefuls, another 15% are itching to get back to the snow after years of travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, with more than one million planning to hit the slopes this year for the first time in their lives.

But with more than a third admitting that they’re not as fit or as strong as they were pre-pandemic, and another 28% losing confidence in their physical ability over the last two years, consultants at King Edward VII’s have urged caution amongst budding winter sportsmen and women.

Mr Deepu Sethi, Consultant Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon at King Edward VII’s commented: “Getting fit again after the pandemic is hugely important for overall health and quality of life, and the incredible performances on show at this year’s Winter Olympic Games have provided a welcome incentive for many to re-engage with exercise.

However, winter sports don’t come without their risks, and I see skiing and snowboarding injuries regularly in my clinic. If you’re planning on trying out a new winter sport this year, or jumping into a new activity, ensuring you’re physically prepared is essential to avoiding accidents.”

Mr Sethi has shared his top tips for avoiding winter sports injuries:

Prepare – developing pre-season fitness can help to avoid straining joints and muscles when out on the slopes. If your body is struggling after hours of skiing, you’re likely to lose strength and control, and that’s when mistakes and injuries happen. When you’re out in the cold, warming up is so important too; it gives your muscles and mind time to prepare for the strain you are about to put your body under.

Know when to stop – if you’ve made it to a resort, it can be tempting to try your hand at all the slopes, jumps and facilities to make the most of the snow. But overstretching yourself, and taking on ambitious runs, can be dangerous. The snow and ice can be dangerous; one in 10 (11%) of us have fallen victim to slips and falls already this year, and so knowing your limits on the slopes is very important.

Seek help – if you do hurt yourself, or something doesn’t feel quite right after a winter holiday, speaking to your doctor can prevent injuries from hanging around or getting worse. Early intervention can prevent more significant injuries when it comes to our joints and muscles.

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.