Sudden Death of a Young Wrestler During Competition


  • G. P. Rontoyannis
  • G. Pahtas
  • D. Dinis
  • N. Pournaras


Sudden death of healthy athletes during and because of their sport activities, are relatively very rare but cause anxiety among athletes, technical and administrative personnel, sport fans and, above all, consternation and grief to the family, while being given lavish coverage by the press. Negative effects of such sport injuries do not seem to last long, but compel Sports Science in general and Sports Medicine in particular, which is concerned with the athlete's well-being, to study such incidents thoroughly so that they may be prevented. Mechanical forces are mainly responsible for sudden death in healthy children and adolescents during sport activities. Although accidental death can occur in any sport, at any age, sports involving body contact and collisions present the greatest potential for fatal injury, because of their high inherent risk for sport-related sudden death. Head and neck injuries seem to account for the majority of deaths (80%) among athletes in collision or contact sports, as in American football (Blyth et aI., 1969), rugby football (Bruce et aI., 1982), soccer (Zakopoulos, 1973), basketball (Bruce et al., 1982), boxing (Ryan, 1987), etc., as well as in non-contact sports. Regarding wrestling, a contact and collision sport, there appears to be no other case of fatal injury other than the one which occurred recently in Greece in the course of a wrestling match, and which is the subject of this study.






Injuries / Rehabilitation