Kevin Ogar - tragic, freak accident. My prayers are with him and his family for the best possible recovery.
I am posting this because people are asking my opinion on what happened. This is the only video I can find of the event.
- It looks like 100kg. This is likely to be well below his max weight.
- It looks like his first lift. it doesn't look like he has done a a repetition before this lift.
- It looks like he got it up and stood up at least halfway - out of the hole and but at the sticking point (maybe) - it is when the thoracolumbar junction is at its most loaded.
- He appears to just drop the bar and goes down.
- I have seen many people fail a snatch before but I haven't seen someone just go down under a bar like that.
- He is an experienced lifter and knows how to "fail" a lift
My suspicion is that he had a stress fracture in his back (maybe even bilateral (non-congenital) pars defects?) and it gave way as he was standing the lift up.
If he was to fail that lift as I have seen many people do before, he would have squatted back down and dropped it behind him or just throw the bar in front.
So i don't think the bar broke his back, I think he had a pre-existing, possibly undiganosed issue in his back which catastrophically and unpredictably failed as he stood the bar up.
Experienced lifters just don't fail a lift like that.
- Stress fractures occur in a lot of sports where loading occurs - basketball, cricket, running - you name the sport and I have probably seen it - even swimming!
- Other possible causes include a burst fracture, a piece of disc material causing the spinal cord injury, or some other unknown reason
- This wasn't a random weekend comp. This was a comp where you had to qualify - all the competitors knew what they were doing and have been doing CrossFit for some time.
- Injuries occur in every sport. This was a freak accident. Freak accidents occur in every sport.
- We can talk about coaching quality in general, we can talk about the pros and cons of CrossFit but the bottom line is that I don't those arguments are in play for this incident.
Additional Points Added on 23.01.2014:
I have been busy teaching on the weekend and in the clinic. I have had a chance to review clearer footage on different software which allows me to zoom in and check a few things. I still hold the above to be true but add the following qualifiers...
- I still see something causing Kevin to drop the bar straight down
- The bar contacts his upper left thorax/shoulder blade region - this occurs whilst his hips seem to be on the ground
- The plates on the bar contacts the 45lbs weight stack behind him - the bar does not appear to bounce back towards the viewer (or Kevin) but goes sideways and then continues back through the plate stack. This may be because Kevin stops the bar from coming forwards or because the hit to plate stack obliquely. It is also possible that because the bar would have had some deflection away from Kevin, then hit the plate stack, the sum of the vectors may have resulted in a sideways deflection of the barbell and weights.
- The bar continues through the plate stack - it appears that Kevin is leaning back on the bar but the angle of the video won't allow a definite conclusion on this.
- The end result is actually the same options we had at the start:
- He got injured during the lift causing him to drop the bar
- He got injured when the barbell fell on his back
- He got injured when the barbell hit the plate stack and possibly went back into his back
- There are many lessons to learn and conversations to have about many issues...but not right now - just be safe and aware of your surroundings and what you have to do.
That's my 2c worth. It is an all 'round tragedy.