Updated January. 18, 2014 06:33
What would be the thing that athletics fear the most? They worry about a small annual salary, waning popularity, or sluggish performance, but it is "injury" that they fear more than anything. This is because, once injured, an athlete can neither enjoy popularity nor increase his or her annual salary.
An "alarm against physical injury" has been set off on national teams of different countries just 20 days ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. Winter sports that involve high speed and diverse acrobatic moves entail high risk of injuries. A number of big name Winter Olympic stars have already dropped their bids ahead of the big event due to unexpected injuries.
Lindsey Vonn, 30, the Ski Queen of the U.S. and alpine ski gold medalist at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, suffered knee injury due to fall during an exercise session in November last year, and withdrew her participation at the Olympics on January 7. Vonn is the unrivaled ski champion who has won the title at 59 World Cup championship events, and stood a high chance to win a gold medal in Sochi as well. Wang Meng, 29, Chinas flagship short track skater, also had her right ankle fractured during an exercise session on Thursday, and is uncertain about her participation in the Olympics.
Thomas Morgenstern, 28 (Austria), the ski jump gold medalist at the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Olympics, also gave up his dream to win gold in three consecutive Olympics events due to injury. Evan Lysacek, 28 (U.S.), the gold medalist in mens single figure skating competition at the Vancouver event; Evgeny Plushenko, 32 (Russia), the gold medalist in mens single figure skating at the Turin event; Alissa Czisny, 27, a promising player in womens single figure skating competition from the U.S.; and Kaya Turski (26), the top contender in womens slope style ski from Canada are also uncertain about their participation at the Sochi event due to injuries.
The Korean national team is no exception. Noh Jin-gyu, 22, of mens short track team, had his left elbow bone fractured during a training session on Tuesday, and is set to disqualify. Kang Yeong-seo (17), a promising player of the national alpine ski team, had her cruciate ligament ruptured, and is about to give up her dream about her Olympic debut. Several other players also incurred injuries, big or small, and are reconsidering whether to take part in the event.