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Crossfit Champion Paralyzed When Deadlift Snatch Goes Horribly Wrong

If you’re at all familiar with Crossfit, you’re aware that it has the power to dramatically change people’s lives for the better. Predicated on fitness through sheer hardwork — sort of the anti-shake weight, if you will — Crossfit combines the Olympic sport of powerlifting with gymnastics, and a myriad of other endurance feats.

Did we mention it’s incredibly dangerous?

[ABC] Kevin Ogar was performing a routine “snatch” at a fitness competition this weekend in southern California, a move thousands of amateur athletes do in their local CrossFit gyms each week, when something went wrong.

Ogar, a top-tier CrossFit athlete, hoped his training would one day take him to the equivalent of the World Series of the burgeoning sport, the CrossFit Games, where $300,000 and professional sponsorship could be top prizes. The sport combines weightlifting, gymnastics and sprinting.

But on Sunday, as Ogar lifted hundreds of pounds of weights first to his waist, and then up over his head, he bailed on the lift, letting the bar bounce to the floor behind him. There, it bounced against another set of weights, came up, and hit Ogar in the back, critically injuring his spine.

“When impact was made, he jumped almost like someone shot him,” Ogar’s friend, boss and training-partner Matt Hathcock told ABC News.

Ogar was told that he may never walk again, though he doesn’t blame the sport. However, you’d be crazy if you thought that the odds of catastrophic injury were reduced by routinely holding 200-pound metal objects over your head. As a sport, we don’t see anything wrong with highly trained individuals attempting these kinds of death-defying moves — it’s the “exercise class” component that’s being questioned. Should a 19-year-old girl be instructed to dead lift? Eh, the more stuff like this happens, the more it seems like the answer is a resounding “no.”

Here’s the video of what went wrong.

Over $200,000 has been raised by the Crossfit community to help pay for Ogar’s medical bills. You can donate here.

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