CrossFit Coach Severs Spine

During a lift gone wrong

Jan 15, 2014
Outside Magazine

A CrossFit coach severed his spine during a competition on January 12.    Ali Samieivafa/Flickr

A CrossFit coach might never walk again after he severed his spine during a competition in California on Sunday. 

Kevin Ogar was competing at the OC Throwdown, a CrossFit-style event, when he attempted a snatch—a lift in which a barbell is raised from the floor directly to an overhead position in a single motion—but dropped the weight on his back. According to his friends, Ogar separated his T11 and T12 vertebrae, severed his spinal cord, and is currently paralyzed from the waist down.

Because Ogar is uninsured, the CrossFit community has rallied together to help pay for the medical bills. In fewer than 48 hours, people from around the world donated more than $100,000, CrossFit Unbroken owner Matt Hathcock told CBS.  

“It was just kind of a freak accident,” says one CrossFitter who competed with Ogar last weekend.  

CrossFit’s high-intensity workouts have exploded in popularity, and there are now about 10,000 CrossFit gyms worldwide. Though CrossFit injury numbers vary, studies have pegged the CrossFit injury rate from as low as 16 percent to as high as 74 percent. 

Update: The original article stated that Ogar was injured at a CrossFit event. The OC Throwdown is not affiliated with or sanctioned by CrossFit Inc.

As of 8 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, January 15, more than $168,000 has been raised for Ogar's recovery. To donate, visit

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