CrossFit Athlete Paralyzed After Suffering Severed Spine In Fitness Competition

28-year old Kevin Ogar has been paralyzed after a freak accident at the 2014 OC Throwdown. The CrossFit community isn’t letting him go through the struggle alone. posted on

1. On Jan. 12, Kevin Ogar severed his spine during a freak accident at a fitness competition in Orange County, Calif.

The 28-year old is an active member and coach in the Colorado CrossFit community with more than three years of experience.

According to a blog post on The Fittest Games, Kevin “missed a snatch at the 2014 OC Throwdown [which] came down on his back, severing his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the T-11 vertebra down.”

Since the accident he has undergone two surgeries.

2. As Kevin is currently without health insurance, the community has started to collect funds to help him. So far they have raised over $200,000 through donations, the sale of t-shirts and by holding an “Ogar WOD” at gyms throughout the country.

A WOD is a “Workout of the Day.” CrossFit posts a workout for each day that the community does either alone or at their gyms.

3. Kevin “has such a bright light that shines from him that everybody knows who Kevin is,” CrossFit Unbroken owner Matt Harmony told CBS Denver.

4. “It’s just such a life-changing thing to happen…it really touched me to the core,” Harmony said. “A lot of us believe he’s going to walk again. I just want him to come home.”

5. CrossFit fever has grown worldwide, with more than 7,000 gyms offering the military-style workout program.

6. Some critics have called CrossFit dangerous, saying it promotes “over-exercising,” which can be particularly damaging if the athlete has bad form while lifting large amounts of weight.

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But Russell Berger, a spokesperson for CrossFit, told BuzzFeed he disagrees.

“In a country consumed by a deadly obesity and health epidemic, I really don’t have much tolerance for claims of the dangers of ‘over-exercising,’” he said. “As for exercising without watching form, obviously it is better to train with optimal technique, but the benefit of training functional movements even with poor technique dramatically outweighs the risk associated with avoiding them for fear of injury via incompetence.”

7. Berger believes the program is “absolutely worth the risk.”

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“If there are any safety lessons to be learned from this event, our community will absorb them. Given what we know about Kevin’s accident at this time, it is hard to point to anything specific that could or should be done to prevent similar accidents in the future. “

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