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11 Most Dangerous Sports in the World

Broken ribs, concussions, coma, paralysis, even death… all these can happen as a result of practicing some of these 11 most dangerous sports in the world. With increasing consciousness about wide-ranging benefits of physical activities, the number of people who decide to dedicate time to sports is greater than ever. Consequently, the number of those who end up in hospitals because of sport-related injuries is also on the rise. Luckily, majority ends up with minor hurts such as sprains and strains, which can be easily prevented by gentle warm-up. However, for some sport can be fatal.

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Stefan Holm /

Just recall images of Michael Schumacher’s accident that filled newspaper pages a couple of years ago. Paradoxically, Formula 1 driver, who won more races than any other driver in the history, didn’t get hurt on a track but while skiing. Although one might think that racing, skiing and boxing are among the most dangerous sports, our ranking shows the opposite. It’s not that previously mentioned sports aren’t dangerous – last year Jules Bianchi, a French motor racing driver, succumbed to injuries from a crash in 2014, but the number of people who die while practicing sports that are usually perceived as “safe” in some cases exceeds the number of fatalities in so-called extreme sports.

Swimming is one of the sports we usually don’t associate with the word “danger”. However, it turns out that drowning ranks as fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States, which is one of the reasons why swimming found its place on the list. So be careful next time you jump into the water especially if you are visiting one of these 11 deadliest lakes in the United States.

In creating the ranking 11 most dangerous sports in the world, we used as a criterion odds of dying while practicing a certain sport. You might be surprised to find out that some of the most adventurous sports carry less risk than everyday activities such as car riding or plane traveling. Moreover, only three sports on the list are more likely to kill you compared to lightning strike for which the odds of dying are one in 83,930.

We based this ranking on statistics for sixteen sports which is compiled by evidence-based healthcare journal Bandolier. In order to find out what are the chances of dying associated with sports that are not included on Bandolier’s list we searched for other sources. For some, such as boxing, formula 1 or mountaineering, i.e. sports that are usually thought of as risky, we only managed to find the number of deaths in the ceratin time period. These sports are not included on the list as there was no statistics about the number of participants and consequently determining the chances of dying wasn’t possible.