GT ID#: 902842184
Dr. Robert Sallis writes on one of the scariest instances in all of sports: cases of collapse
during endurance sporting events. Although he writes that collapse can happen in any sporting
event, his analysis focuses on endurance events such as marathons and triathlons. His analysis
looks at benign and more serious cases of collapse. He then recommends appropriate medical
care based on an evaluation of the collapsed athlete.
My interest in this topic stems from an event that occurred recently. After soccer game in
Bolivia, Lionel Messi, my favorite soccer player, was, according to reports from team doctors,
violently ill and came dangerously close to collapse after the game. I was aghast and confused.
Messi is well known for his energetic approach to the game and I have yet to see him be
substituted in a game because of exhaustion. According to reports from Bolivia, the altitude of
the stadium had affected Messi more than others (the game was played at over 11,000 feet). The
title of the article interested me as I wanted to understand what factors other than altitude may
have played a part.
The fact I found most interesting is that “about 85% of the cases of collapse occur after
the athlete crosses the finish line” (Sallis, 2004). My belief, until reading the article, had been
that athletes tended to collapse before finishing the event because they simply did not have the
endurance. Sallis states that most cases of collapse are “benign” and do not have long lasting
effects on the physical well-being of the athlete. However, should the situation be more serious,
medical personnel in the area need to be able to corre