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16 Gruesome Weightlifting Injuries You Can't Unsee

January 27, 2017 171.1k views16 items

Serious weightlifters are equal parts impressive and terrifying. The amounts these people can lift are simply superhuman, and it can leave you wondering how they're not horribly injured by it. Unfortunately, of course, sometimes they are. As you can imagine, the injuries are some of the most gruesome around. Some of the worst weightlifter injuries involve broken bones, dislocations, and of course lots and lots of screaming. These shocking accidents can sometimes even result in the deaths of weightlifters themselves, so be warned that what you're about to see is graphic and downright horrifying.

To be clear, these lifting accidents are not the norm. With good spotters, proper form, and smart training, weight lifting can be very safe. That being said, when things do manage to go wrong, the results can be deadly.

So, if you think football injuries and hockey injuries are bad, take a deep breath. These are some of the worst weightlifting injuries (or injuries generally) that you're ever going to witness.

  • Kevin Ogar Is Paralyzed By A Falling Weight

    Video: YouTube

    This video is very hard to watch on an emotional level, because it shows someone receiving very serious permanent damage. In 2014, CrossFit athlete Kevin Ogar is competing in the OC Throwdown, and he lifts a 210 lb weight over his head. He cannot hold it and moves to drop it, but the weight lands on his spine on the way down. You see his body go rigid as he falls to the ground. In that moment, Kevin Ogar became a paraplegic.

    Today he is still working on rehabilitation, and is learning to walk again. Keep fighting, Kevin!

  • Jaehyouk Sa Dislocates His Arm During The Olympics

    Video: YouTube

    In yet another Olympic injury, Jaehyouk Sa was competing in London in 2012. The South Korean weightlifter steps up to the 162 kg weight, lifts it, and his arm gives out under the pressure. The pain on his face is palpable as he falls to the ground. The elbow was dislocated, but Sa pledged to keep working on his sport, and keep lifting. Even a dislocated elbow shown over and over on international television won't keep him down.

  • Kyle Thomson Dies From A Training Accident

    Video: YouTube

    We thankfully do not have any actual footage of this incident, which is one of the biggest weightlifting tragedies in recent years. In December of 2016, weightlifter Kyle Thomson was hard at work in an Iowa gym, doing bench presses. He was in the process of bench pressing 315 pounds, when the weight slipped out of his grasp. Even with a spotter, the weight came down on his neck, and he later died in the hospital from his injuries. He was only twenty-two years old. 

  • Big Brian Bach Breaks His Legs While Lifting

    Video: YouTube

    In 2006, the weightlifter lovingly known as "Big" Brian Bach was doing squats in his gym when things went bad in a hurry. The weight became too much, and he collapsed onto the ground in obvious agony. Doctors later revealed that he'd broken his femur in one leg, both lower bones in the other leg, and had torn up much of his knee during the accident. It was enough that he was hospitalized for weeks, and had to undergo at least three surgeries to repair the damage.