T Nation

Kevin Ogar's Injury


In case you hadn’t heard, Kevin Ogar is a dude who was competing in a regional Crossfit meet over the weekend and ended up paralyzed after a missed lift.

The whole story is a little hard to track down, but it seems like the event involved a heavy snatch, he ended up having to bail on a rep so he dropped to the floor and ditched the bar behind him, the bar took a bad bounce (allegedly off a stack of plates that were placed too close to the lifting platform) and hit his back, separating his T11 and T12 vertebrae leaving him with no feeling or movement below the waist.

There’s supposedly a video of the accident somewhere but I haven’t found it. Bits and pieces of the story can be found on a few different sites (which can’t be linked to here). In any case, this is just bad news for a fellow lifter. He’s just 28 and it looks like he was a lifelong athlete, just getting into Crossfit a few years ago. Also, most people are saying he’s uninsured, so there are all sorts of fundraisers being planned to help him out.

For all the hate Crossfit usually gets, I’ve seen some truly heinous stuff written about this incident. “Deserved it for doing Crossfit”, “what do you expect”, “who cares, no surprise”, etc. Typical Internet crap. From my perspective, it wasn’t a “Crossfit injury.” It was a missed snatch that led to an unexpected tragedy. It’s not like he spun off a bar during a kipping muscle-up and landed on his neck.

Just kinda ranting here. I didn’t see any mention of it yet and felt the BSL forum was more appropriate than Off-Topic or Injuries/Rehab, since we’re all lifters here and we’ve actually been doing a great job of building a great sense of community. I just figured it could extend to another big, strong dude even though he didn’t happen to post here.

Vids from a few months ago. He’s 6’2" and a lean 210. Definitely a solid guy.

man that is terrible news. Do you have further information on his status? What do these injuries mean for him, in the long term?

I was googling crossfit videos yesterday at work and thinking how irresponsible it looks when people dump the bar and let it slide down their back(or when ppl try to bounce out of a hole with a weight that is obviously way too heavy for them). What happened to this guy is absolutely crazy and unfortunate and I wish him the best of luck in his recovery.

[quote]Claudan wrote:
Do you have further information on his status? What do these injuries mean for him, in the long term?[/quote]

It’s a little tricky/confusing to get all the details from different sources, but it seems like he had his first surgery earlier today and it went as well as it could. I haven’t seen any real details about exactly what his injuries are or what the prognosis is, other than just “separated vertebrae with no voluntarily movement of his lower body” which is obviously serious enough.

Whether it’s permanent or reversible with surgery and tons of rehab, I have no idea.

For sure Crossfit has plenty of Darwin award winners and they’re the feature of enough ‘fail compilations’ to fill a hard drive, but from my understanding of the admittedly-limited information, this guy’s situation totally does not qualify as an example of “this is why Crossfit sucks.”

EDIT: I just saw an update on Facebook from the guy who runs the CF affiliate Ogar works at. They’ve already raised enough funds to get him insurance effective Jan 1. I guess that’s the first little win.

Read this on another board:

[i]Was just told the events for OC Throwdown.

Sounds like it was an event the started with a 3RM touch and go snatch.

I’m sorry, but touch and go for load is really, incredibly irresponsible programming. And that’s just one gripe I see about the events.

Freak accident, but less freak because it was helped along by circumstances of the competition.[/i]

I do not know enough about the oly lifts to form an opinion about whether this was an irresponsible event. Any thought, Chris?

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
this guy’s situation totally does not qualify as an example of “this is why Crossfit sucks.”
[/quote]

Crossfit doesn’t suck, just the people who pretend they know what they are doing that suck. aka “Crossfit Trainers”. Agreed?

Whether this could have happened under any circumstance or whether it was exclusively caused by Crossfit programming and lack of precaution shouldn’t affect your empathy. No one deserves to be paralyzed for competing in a sport, even if he or she was doing so imprudently.

That being said, people should be aware that Crossfit, like most business entities, does not care about you but only your monthly fees. This is what coach Glassman, the millionaire CEO of Crossfit, thinks about your wellbeing: “If you find the notion of falling off the rings and breaking your neck so foreign to you, then we don’t want you in our ranks.”

Props to the people donating to the cause. For all the negatives of Crossfit out there, community definitely falls on the positive side.

My reaction was in line with yours, Chris. The accident definitely sounds crazy and unusual. The videos you posted of this guy show he has a firm grasp of the olympic lifts. Bailing on an Oly lift can be a scary thing, particularly when you have to drop the weight behind. If anything, it sounds like the gym set-up was poor to have weights that close to/behind the lifter. But that’s not particular to Crossfit.

Saiyan, I think the previous paragraph pretty much answers your question, but I’ll go ahead and answer directly. If the description is correct, and this was a bailed attempt, the fact that this was ‘touch and go’ doesn’t seem to be particularly relevant. The injury didn’t happen as a result of the lift, nor did it happen directly by him bailing. The weight bounced off a nearby object and hit him. So in other words, the injury happens whether or not the event is touch and go.

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
this guy’s situation totally does not qualify as an example of “this is why Crossfit sucks.”
[/quote]

Crossfit doesn’t suck, just the people who pretend they know what they are doing that suck. aka “Crossfit Trainers”. Agreed?[/quote]

couldn’t disagree more.

you really think this of all crossfit trainers? Yes, some trainers are under-qualified. But if that’s actually you in your picture, I have yet to come across a crossfit trainer who is truly incompetent. I think people look at the ridiculous crossfit videos on youtube and assume that’s the norm. I’ve been to 7 different crossfit gyms, and have yet to come across any of that nonsense.

[quote]super saiyan wrote:
I do not know enough about the oly lifts to form an opinion about whether this was an irresponsible event. Any thought, Chris?[/quote]
Yeah, I saw that too. I can kinda see it both ways. It looks like that particular event was supposed to be three lifts. A 3RM touch and go snatch (where he got injured), and then “3 position clean and jerk” (1 clean from the floor, 1 clean from the knees, 1 clean from the hang, 1 jerk), and then back squats.

The 3RM touch and go snatch, while certainly odd for a competition lift, is still something he’d done in training. So, at least in theory, it’s something he “should’ve” been capable of. Again, this is from a few months ago:

All in all, yes, it might’ve been a poor choice for a competitive lift, but it does fit in line with the general “concept” of Crossfit - displaying some mixture of strength and endurance. And really, I think one could probably argue that it’s a “better” choice of lift than, say, 21 reps of cleans that CF’ers often do. But that’s getting into a bit of a different discussion.

[quote]Claudan wrote:
Crossfit doesn’t suck, just the people who pretend they know what they are doing that suck. aka “Crossfit Trainers”. Agreed? [/quote]
Ha, that’s not just limited to Crossfit trainers, but yeah, I totally agree with that. Coaches who pretend they know what they’re doing is bad news. Ignorant trainers get people hurt, knowledgeable trainers get people results, and you can usually find examples of each. Like I said, it’s not uncommon for “crossfit fail” vids to make the rounds, but like Flip said, there have to be some decent coaches out there. I know Derek542 goes to a CF gym and is getting along just fine.

Again, not to get off on too much of a rant, but Bryan Krahn had a good article talking about some of the common pros and cons of CF, including talking to a few CF coaches:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
this guy’s situation totally does not qualify as an example of “this is why Crossfit sucks.”
[/quote]

Crossfit doesn’t suck, just the people who pretend they know what they are doing that suck. aka “Crossfit Trainers”. Agreed?[/quote]

couldn’t disagree more.

you really think this of all crossfit trainers? Yes, some trainers are under-qualified. But if that’s actually you in your picture, I have yet to come across a crossfit trainer who is truly incompetent. I think people look at the ridiculous crossfit videos on youtube and assume that’s the norm. I’ve been to 7 different crossfit gyms, and have yet to come across any of that nonsense.[/quote]

fair enough, and I totally believe that. A few is ruining it for the rest.

edit: wut does my avi have to do with this?

This was the contest programming…let’s see, MASSIVE fatigue inducing “WODS” then highly level 3 rep max snatches?

WORST PROGRAMMING EVER.

And Glassman just keeps getting richer from certifying these “level 1 trainers” for a $1200 a pop.

Swim 25mts
10 Burpees
Swim 25mts
9 Burpees
Swim 25mts
8 Burpees
Swim 25mts
7 Burpees
Swim 25mts
6 Burpees
Swim 25mts
5 Burpees
Swim 25mts
4 Burpees
Swim 25mts
3 Burpees
Swim 25mts
2 Burpees
Swim 25mts
1 Burpees

Total points from:
Forty Yard Dash
Bench Press

Total points from:
Vertical Jump
Broad Jump
3 Cone Drill
Twenty Yard Shuttle

12-9-6

Squat Clean 210/130
Handstand Push-Ups

5 Min Clock x 3

Fran 95/65

Score: Slowest Fran
missing reps: 5 sec penalty

5 Minutes Per Round, no rest, other than your time faster than 5 min. Next Fran starts every 5 min.

3 mile run

mile 1 with two 1.5 pood/1 pood dumb-bell carry
mile 2 with one 1.5 pood/1pood dumb-bell carry
mile 3 with no carry

separate score for event 7 â?? mile time without carry

Total points from:

3 round strength
Elimination series

a. touch and go 3 rep max snatch
b. touch and go three rep max hang clean
c. two rep max back squat

Triplet 1
50 Half Body Weight OHS
50 Calorie Assault Bike
20 weighted 20/14 Muscle Up

Triplet 2

50 back squat Half BW
50 DUBs heavy rope
50 Wallballs 30/20

Triplet 3

20 165/110 PowerSnatch
20 315/225 DeadLift
1 Cargo Net Ascent

22 ft Hand Over hand Traverse
9, 10 11 triplets performed consecutively with no rest in between

He was injured on the 8th workout.

No medical personnel were on site for the competition.

Oh and how long until they name a WOD after him? I’m guessing it is already in the works.

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
this guy’s situation totally does not qualify as an example of “this is why Crossfit sucks.”
[/quote]

Crossfit doesn’t suck, just the people who pretend they know what they are doing that suck. aka “Crossfit Trainers”. Agreed?[/quote]

couldn’t disagree more.

you really think this of all crossfit trainers? Yes, some trainers are under-qualified. But if that’s actually you in your picture, I have yet to come across a crossfit trainer who is truly incompetent. I think people look at the ridiculous crossfit videos on youtube and assume that’s the norm. I’ve been to 7 different crossfit gyms, and have yet to come across any of that nonsense.[/quote]

fair enough, and I totally believe that. A few is ruining it for the rest.

edit: wut does my avi have to do with this?
[/quote]

LOL. I was working on 2 posts in 2 windows, walked away, and switched up sentences. Your avi has absolutely nothing to do with anything. But that ended up being a pretty funny sentence. Sorry bud!

“If you find the notion of falling off the rings and breaking your neck so foreign to you, then we don’t want you in our ranks.”

  • Greg Glassman - Founder of CrossFit, December 2005

How Apropos.

Utah, that’s some crazy shit right there. Any idea how much time between each of the workouts? Was this all in the same day?

Whether or not the programming is reasonable is one question, and a good one. I just don’t think the programming has anything to do with bad placement of equipment surrounding a lifter. 2 separate issues, and the latter seems to be the cause of the unfortunate accident.

I do agree that the lack of medical personnel on site is a legitimate concern, given the nature of the competition. But there again, the guy was struck in the back and immediately paralyzed. Doesn’t seem like on-site medical personnel could have done much in this case.

This was his bio from Dan Henderson’s website. Apparently he is Clinch Gear sponsored. With a history like that, this definitely does not sound like someone who didn’t know what he was doing and seems to bolster the “freak” accident claim. Either way, prayers go out to him.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
Utah, that’s some crazy shit right there. Any idea how much time between each of the workouts? Was this all in the same day?

Whether or not the programming is reasonable is one question, and a good one. I just don’t think the programming has anything to do with bad placement of equipment surrounding a lifter. 2 separate issues, and the latter seems to be the cause of the unfortunate accident.

I do agree that the lack of medical personnel on site is a legitimate concern, given the nature of the competition. But there again, the guy was struck in the back and immediately paralyzed. Doesn’t seem like on-site medical personnel could have done much in this case.[/quote]

From what I understand, it was same day…that amount of fatigue before high stress snatches is the highest form of stupidity.

And everybody who has ever gone to an OLY meet knows that there is a strict guidelines for space around lifters.

Apparently that is not taught at Level 1 Crossfit certs.

Why are people blaming Crossfit? Why blame at all?

Stop blaming altogether and figure out what happened to make sure it doesn’t anymore.

Blaming cross fit for that accident is like blaming creatine for the high school football kid(s) dying.

This type of accident could have happened in any recreational gym. Although I have a feeling there could very well be premise for a lawsuit for “gross negligence” or something. Although I doubt this is the type of guy who would pursue that course, I wouldn’t blame him. He did something you’re trained to do in weightlifting (how to bail when a weight is too far back) and he seems to have ended up paralyzed fromt he waist down. Not his fault, not the programming’s fault, not Crossfit’s fault. Freak accident.