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It’s no secret that sports are dangerous. Whether played professionally or just for fun, the wrong step can lead to a serious injury for one or several parties. Winter sports may have the added benefit of snow to act as cushioning, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous to play. Acknowledging the danger that comes with playing these sports is the first step toward taking safety precautions that lower the risk of injury. Here are some of the most dangerous winter sports.

 

Hockey

 

Though it’s become safer over the years due to improved equipment and regulations, the constant collisions and falling still make hockey a dangerous, high-impact sport. Players can be injured by the sharp blades of their ice skates, be hurt by their hockey sticks, or even get hit with the hockey puck. This, along with the brawls that are associated with the sport, makes playing hockey dangerous. Expect to end up with a few injuries when playing, and take all the necessary precautions to avoid as many injuries as you can.

 

Ice Skating

 

Similar to hockey, ice skating—both professional and recreational—has dangers to be wary of. Ice skates are sharp to ensure that they glide across the ice smoothly, so falling and getting sliced by a blade won’t exactly be pleasant. Falling on the ice alone is enough to cause a concussion, especially since, unlike hockey, ice skaters don’t have protective gear. Professional ice skaters have additional worries: stunts like triple axles, loops, salchows, and flips send skaters flying into the air, and it’s possible to land wrong and wipe out on the ice. 

 

Snowboarding

 

Statistics from the 2006 Winter Olympics showed snowboarding to be the most hazardous winter sport due to injury. This is because the risk of falling is higher for snowboarders than skiers, and going downhill at high speed makes it hard for the snowboarder to maneuver, making collisions worse. Beginners who don’t know how to fall properly are more likely to sustain wrist injuries as well.

 

Despite the risk, people face dangers every day. From driving a car to walking down the street, any moment could be someone’s last, yet people keep living anyway. Sports might be dangerous, yes, but the risks shouldn’t mitigate the reward: a fun time that won’t soon be forgotten.