Athletes Training for the 2014 Winter Olympics Should Realize: Now is the Time for Disability Insurance

Lindsey Vonn suffered another series of injuries on Tuesday; NBC News reports that questions abound about her ability to compete at Sochi Olympics. A total individual disability insurance policy can protect the earning potential of athletes, says disability lawyer to the pros, Frank N. Darras, of DarrasLaw.

The 2014 Winter Olympics are quickly approaching as 2013 will soon come to a close. The 22nd Winter Olympics are scheduled for February 7-24, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Athletes who have been training for years are in their final preparation stages and nervously awaiting the Opening Ceremony.

Frank N. Darras, disability lawyer to the pros, says there is no better time for Olympic athletes to consider disability insurance options. Although the Olympic injury rate is lower than some professional sports such as American football and soccer, about 10 percent of Olympians get hurt during their days at the games, either while training on site or in actual competition.

According to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine at least one in 10 athletes sustained an injury and one in 14 fell ill during the 2010 Winter Olympics, held in Canada. (ScienceDaily.com, At Least 1 in 10 Athletes Injured During 2010 Winter Olympics, Study Finds, Sep. 8, 2010)

"Ten percent might not seem like a lot, but that's 10 percent over the course of two weeks. That doesn't take into account the athletes who might injure themselves during the weeks leading up to the games or the long-term injuries that might present themselves weeks after as a result of the intense competition during the games," says Darras.

The Winter Olympics showcase daredevil athletes careening across ice and snow with little regard for the powers of gravity. Unlike the many minor injuries witnessed during an average Sunday night football game, most injuries at the Winter Olympics are traumatic. While Summer Olympic athletes historically suffer numerous sprains and muscle pulls, medical personnel at the Winter Olympics commonly treat fractures, lacerations, head injuries and torn ligaments.

Many remember the horrific luge crash on the eve of the 2010 Olympic Games that led to the death reported by ESPN of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. While death isn't the norm, injuries that can lead to long-term disabilities are far from the exception. In fact, the research study revealed that almost one in four injuries in 2010 (22%) resulted in the inability to train or compete.

"Every athlete thinks they are immune to a long-term disability. They are no stranger to injuries and bravely face each one as a sacrifice they are willing to make to play out their dreams. Yet, the numbers don't lie and it's smart to protect yourself financially with a private disability insurance policy in case the unthinkable occurs. It's a wise decision to make and consulting with an experienced disability attorney will help you make an even better choice about the policy you take out," says Darras.