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CMAJ. 2016 March 15; 188(5): 369.
PMCID: PMC4786395

Health benefits of hosting major international events

The fact that there is an overlap between what is considered health — and hence disease prevention — and injury prevention is often overlooked.1 This is unfortunate given the clear contribution of injuries to the global ill-health burden and the potential for injury prevention efforts to contribute substantially to the promotion of health and the reduction of health services needed to treat injuries.

It may surprise some to learn of an unexpected legacy from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.2 General injury surveillance in public emergency departments during the Olympic Games found an increase in the number of injuries from broken glass, especially at the start of the games. This prompted immediate action — that is, beer and other drinks were no longer available for purchase by the public or allowed to be brought to venues by the public in glass bottles and containers. Following this action, the rate of such injuries was shown to be reduced. Now, for all large sporting events across Australia, glass containers cannot be brought in by the public, and all drinks for purchase are provided in plastic cups.

This is a great example of how simple measures to prevent injury can greatly affect the health of all populations.


1. MacAuley D. The health legacy of hosting major sporting events. CMAJ 2015;187:1267. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Jorm LR, Thackway SV, Churches TR, et al. Watching the games: public health surveillance for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. J Epidemiol Community Health 2003;57:102–8. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal are provided here courtesy of Canadian Medical Association