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The road to olympic failure is paved in poor risk management

Bryce, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-9856-7851 & Dowling, M. (2024). The road to olympic failure is paved in poor risk management. Safety Science, 169, article number 106331. doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2023.106331


In recent years there have been numerous high-profile incidents in professional cycling that have endangered the lives of cyclists, fellow competitors, and spectators in track and road disciplines. Yet, there has been little research conducted to ascertain why, and how things can be improved within the sport to improve safety. To illuminate this area, we apply safety culture theory to the now infamous Australian Cycling 2021 Olympic incident that saw their Olympians handlebar snap clean off during the competition. The results show that dimensions of safety culture are apparent in this incident, with distinct parallels between it and high-profile failures in other industries. The lack of adherence to rules, the existence of light-touch regulation, and management safety attitudes are concerning, and suggestive of a need for immediate improvement at a governing level. This research provides a conceptual basis for further research in the area to ensure interventions are effective at preventing future safety critical incidents within the sport.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Safety Culture, Cycling, Risk Management, Accident Analysis, Olympics, UCI, IOC
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Olympics Paper v5.1_anon.docx] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 5 April 2025 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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