“Oh my God.”
It’s the first thing a BBC announcer mustered – and about the only thought coursing through our heads, and almost certainly what we’d have said if announcing the event ourselves – when Cuban pole vaulter Lazaro Borges’ pole snapped like a giant strand of uncooked spaghetti mid-vault earlier today. See it happen, and be terrified:
One thought: how does this not happen more often? (Note: this video probably provides about as good an answer to that question as you can find. Interesting stuff.) Another thought: it’s a good thing Borges didn’t land on a piece of the cracked pole (which, let’s face it – that thing is basically a weapon at that point) and accidentally spear himself. As if worrying about not landing horribly when you’re interrupted mid-jump isn’t enough, you’ve got to hope you dodge broken fiberglass tubes on your way down. Thankfully, Borges managed to turn both those tricks.
Alas, what he didn’t manage to do: qualify for the final. In our estimation, though, Borges deserves some kind of award for actually going back and vaulting again after having his pole shatter like that. You wouldn’t have gotten us anywhere near that track after that, and it’s entirely possible we would have refused to use any product made of fiberglass or carbon fiber ever again. So good on you, Lazaro, for not letting an incident we can barely bring ourselves to watch for fear it’s going to turn out differently this time and finally result in a horrific injury. For that, you are either a brave or crazy man. And what great person doesn’t have a little crazy in them?
Oh, and if you want your horror to be dragged out, here’s a slow-motion replay.