AS THE Winter Olympics get under way a Hampshire surgeon is urging winter sports fanatics to make sure they prepare their bodies before they hit the slopes to avoid injury.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Christopher Bailey, who works at BMI Sarum Road Hospital, in Winchester, is concerned that the games will encourage beginners to take to the slopes before they have taken the proper preparation, putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury.

Mr Bailey said: “I have no doubt that amateur sportsmen and women will venture to the slopes and the ice rinks this winter having been inspired or motivated by the heroes of the snow and ice.

“However if people have been in-active or they haven’t prepared their muscles or stepped up fitness levels they could well be in trouble.

“All too often people don’t consider the serious consequences that can occur with poor preparation. That also includes using the right protective equipment.”