Korean J Sports Med.  2019 Jun;37(2):54-59. 10.5763/kjsm.2019.37.2.54.

The Experience of the Upper Respiratory Infection of the Elite Winter Sports Athletes and Its Effect on Training and Competition

  • 1Department of Medicine and Science, National Training Center, Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, Jincheon, Korea. mjbae81@sports.or.kr


This study aimed to investigate the experience of the upper respiratory infection of the elite winter sports athletes and its effect on training and competition.
We conducted survey on elite athletes preparing for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. The general characteristics, training and competition loss due to upper respiratory infection were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Multiple regression analysis was performed to find out the factors that influence on training loss due to upper respiratory infection. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant and data were analyzed using SPSS ver. 24.0.
A total 65 players answered the questionnaire. Sixteen players (24.7%) reported that they got an upper respiratory infection more than three times a year. The month mainly affected by upper respiratory infection was September to November. Main symptom of upper respiratory infection was rhinorrhea mostly, followed by sore throat, cough, sputum. Six players (9.2%) answered that they were excluded from training more than three times due to upper respiratory infection for 1 year. Seven players (10.7%) answered that they were excluded from competition one time due to upper respiratory infection for 1 year. The factors that influence on training loss due to upper respiratory syndrome were the numbers of getting upper respiratory infection for 1 year and age.
Elite winter athletes are vulnerable to upper respiratory and it has a bad effect on training and competition. So we need to take care of elite athletes' illness like upper respiratory infection.


Athletes; Common cold; Disease; Sports medicine

MeSH Terms

Common Cold
Sports Medicine


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