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oh, god.
August 13, 2008 10:00 AM   Subscribe

This is the moment Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai's first Olympics ended in agony when he dislocated his right elbow in the ugliest moment yet of the Olympic weightlifting competition. Video, for the foolish.
posted by R. Mutt (83 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not gonna watch that, oh no I am not. Poor dude.
posted by everichon at 10:01 AM on August 13, 2008


That's a pretty scrotum tightening photo set, there.
posted by The Straightener at 10:03 AM on August 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sweet Jeebus, his arm just flops over like a rag doll. I wish him a speedy recovery.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2008


I bet it's a fracture too. I'm sad for him. Hope he got a good surgeon.
posted by zouhair at 10:05 AM on August 13, 2008


OH MY GOD OW.

Could the medics have been any slower? The first people on the scene were stone-faced drones with posterboard to block him from the camera .

I would assume they'd keep needles loaded with morphine offstage for just such a contingency.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:06 AM on August 13, 2008


Video already deleted. "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by a third party."
posted by Daddy-O at 10:07 AM on August 13, 2008


Thankfully I saw it before they yanked it.

It should be, "This video is no longer available because of JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ARE YOU KIDDING?!"

Am I right?

Yeah, I'm right.
posted by kbanas at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2008 [21 favorites]


It's amazing how visceral the reaction to images like this is - like we're biological programmed to just want to fucking scream and flee when something this wrong happens to someone nearby.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2008


Also, this is what I hate about going to the gym. There's always some idiot on a machine or free weight who jerks or bursts into motion instead of starting slowly. I always expect that intial jerk of the weight to be followed by a piercing scream.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:11 AM on August 13, 2008


Working video here, at least for the moment.

OUCHIES
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2008


\o~
//
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2008 [15 favorites]


If you don't scream and flee at something like this then you just might be a psychopath.
posted by Flashman at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2008


*sets up tasteful little blocky-walls around this post*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:17 AM on August 13, 2008 [13 favorites]


*then rereads it in slow motion from three different angles*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:18 AM on August 13, 2008 [6 favorites]


Yet another reason to get other people to do your heavy lifting.
posted by grounded at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I sure hope his humerus is broken, because if it isn't, then he's sheered off all the ligaments and he's never going to use that elbow again.

Gad that looked awful. What a freak tragedy.
posted by Class Goat at 10:19 AM on August 13, 2008


Poor fella.
posted by cashman at 10:25 AM on August 13, 2008


Immediately thought of this ... Jeebus
posted by ElvisJesus at 10:29 AM on August 13, 2008


And you know the physical pain is just the tip of the iceberg. Shoot, it ruins my week if my stomach growls at a staff meeting.
posted by Epenthesis at 10:31 AM on August 13, 2008


File under "The agony of defeat". I wish him a full and speedy recovery.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:34 AM on August 13, 2008


Reminds me of the SNL skit "The All-drug Olympics", in which the guy's arms fall off.
posted by goethean at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2008


Those pictures are horrifying.

I can't be the only person reminded of Jeff Goldblum, right?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:40 AM on August 13, 2008


And did you hear the commentators saying, "No, no we really don't need to see any m -- and there's a shot from above ..."

I think I'm sticking to dumbbells this week.
posted by maudlin at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2008


That was rather horrific... sympathetic tingling and palm sweats. Puts the British lifter's bit of a hurt back into prospective.

"Oh, lets not see any more" the commentator says as the director shows it again three times from different angles in slow motion
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:42 AM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm usually pretty meh about injuries...but OWWWIE.
posted by jmd82 at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2008


Ooh terrible. In the clip WinnipegDragon posted, I notice how the commentators keep saying "We don't need to see that again." But whoever's in the control room keeps showing angle after angle.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2008


You've seen it. Now you can't UNSEE it!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:47 AM on August 13, 2008


I lost count of the number of times I've seen Joe Theisman's leg explode, there's no doubt you'll see this an equal number of times.
posted by tommasz at 10:48 AM on August 13, 2008


> Thankfully I saw it before they yanked it.

Who, precisely, are you thanking? I'm pretty sure it's not God, your good luck, or fluffy bunnies.
posted by ardgedee at 10:52 AM on August 13, 2008


I can't ever read people responding to this without turning green.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:57 AM on August 13, 2008


There are more serious injuries that don't bring this kind of reaction.

Something about a limb doing something it ain't supposed to do that hits us in the stomach. I couldn't watch TV for weeks without remote firmly in hand after Theisman's injury.

From what some commenters have said I'm getting the impression there is worse damage with this kind of dislocation than there would be with a shoulder. The north end of my humerus smacked me in the chin when I dislocated mine and three month's later it was pretty well back to normal. Is that true or was I just lucky?
posted by Carbolic at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2008


Walk it off.
posted by VicNebulous at 10:59 AM on August 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


What's the story with the people who instantly ran out, holding pieces of cardboard to hide the scene from view? What's their job title? Censors? Protectors of dignity? Has that always been standard Olympic practice?
posted by optovox at 11:01 AM on August 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gad that looked awful. What a freak tragedy.

Tragedy, ok, people use that word all the time. But "freak?" People's bodies give out all the time when they push themselves too far. I don't find this at all surprising.
posted by agregoli at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2008


Now in GIF format.
posted by brownpau at 11:07 AM on August 13, 2008


New video.
posted by Hypocrites at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2008


This news report says "...his elbow popped out of its socket..."

There isn't any socket in the elbow. It isn't that kind of joint. It's held together by ligaments. At least one of those has to have torn loose in order for his arm to turn the way it's shown. (Grimace, shudder)

I hope the Hungarian team has that guy on a jet to a world-class medical center ASAP. Singapore, maybe, or London or New York. And in the mean time I hope they've got him doped up on morphine.

Poor bastard.
posted by Class Goat at 11:12 AM on August 13, 2008


Well, there's also that SNL sketch (stills) from 1988. I'd post a YouTube link but it seems NBC is pretty busy giving YouTube the proctological DMCA exam.
posted by crapmatic at 11:13 AM on August 13, 2008


I narrowly missed seeing a dancer snap his Achilles tendon onstage last year...thanks to the wonderful acoustics, the snap was apparently not just clearly audible to all, but actually loud, over the full orchestra in the 2000-seat auditorium.

He's fully recovered now, but that's a show I'm glad I skipped.
posted by sixswitch at 11:24 AM on August 13, 2008


ow
posted by grubi at 11:28 AM on August 13, 2008


Baranyai, for the record, dislocated the elbow, suffered no torn ligaments or broken bones, and will be out for the rest of the year (Sporting News).

Well, if that's true, I'm happy for him that he didn't tear ligaments or break any bones.
posted by cashman at 11:55 AM on August 13, 2008


That unfortunate incident conjured up an old and highly disturbing (and related) injury suffered by another weightlifter. (Warning: NSFW Rotten.com link...sorry...)

Now that took some straining.
posted by VicNebulous at 12:06 PM on August 13, 2008


Accidents happen. Especially at freakshows. Or do we still believe the olympics are this healthy, fun, thing.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2008


What's the story with the people who instantly ran out, holding pieces of cardboard to hide the scene from view?

I doubt it's standard practice, but it strikes me as so very, very Chinese.

Can't have something like this on TV, oh no. Hide it away. Just like that 7 year old girl that was supposed to sing but was hidden away because of her crooked teeth, and replaced by a more photogenic girl who lipsynced over the actual performance.

A telling quote:
“The reason why little Peiyi was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image. The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, the renowned contemporary composer and French citizen who directed the music for the opening ceremony.

“The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings and expression."
Yep, can't have any imperfection showing. A man suffers from a painful and graphic dislocation during an event? QUICK, HIDE HIM! And so the censors are on the scene way before the medics.

It's more important to keep up appearances, after all.
posted by splice at 12:15 PM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


SphincterClenchingFilter.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:21 PM on August 13, 2008


I did something very similar in a wrestling match in high school, though the dislocation was the result of the violent impact of almost 300 lbs of dude (my opponent and I) on the mat. Hurt like the dickens, especially on the 45-min. ambulance ride.

I knew it was pretty bad when I saw the look on my opponent's face. He was horrified. Thanks for the memories, MetaFilter!
posted by Mister_A at 12:23 PM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


The last time I saw video of a dislocated elbow was when I was a kid and they aired Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling — am I crazy or was Vincent Price associated with that?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:25 PM on August 13, 2008


but it strikes me as so very, very Chinese.

I don't think that's distinctly chinese - I think it's just distinctly clumsy. Other places do similar things, they just hide it better. So they'd just ignore the crooked teeth girl in the first place and not even give her a chance, in favor of someone who can't sing but supposedly looks good. cough rihanna cough.

Their problem was that they didn't mask it as well as some nations do, with time delays and what not. Also, all those other injuries that have been linked in this thread are kind of precursors to this sort of thing, and I think it's great that they did that. I don't need to see the guy writhing in pain with a horrid injury, and he doesn't need the added trauma of knowing that everybody is watching him in agony. Imperfection is one thing. Young athletes screaming with badly twisted appendages is another.
posted by cashman at 12:33 PM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


...suffered no torn ligaments or broken bones...

That's amazing and lucky. I wonder if they'll have to cut open his elbow in order to get everything back into position, or whether it can be repositioned using external manipulation.
posted by Class Goat at 12:34 PM on August 13, 2008


I wonder if they'll have to cut open his elbow in order to get everything back into position, or whether it can be repositioned using external manipulation.

"There was a dislocation of the elbow but the bones are not broken," Tamas Feher, the Hungarian weightlifting federation chief, said. "They just put it right back, but I think he's lost the rest of the year."
posted by cashman at 12:42 PM on August 13, 2008


Accidents happen. Especially at freakshows. Or do we still believe the olympics are this healthy, fun, thing.

How pathetic is that.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:46 PM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Accidents happen. Especially at freakshows. Or do we still believe the olympics are this healthy, fun, thing.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:07 PM


Huh? I can't possible be the only one enjoying Phelps' streak.
posted by VicNebulous at 12:59 PM on August 13, 2008


Move over, rick-rolling.....
posted by codswallop at 1:01 PM on August 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


And so the censors are on the scene way before the medics.

It's more important to keep up appearances, after all.


Way before?

I looked at the video again. I counted, like, three or four seconds between the appearance of the guys with cardboard panels and the guy with a stretcher. And the guy from the Hungarian team showed up before they did to help the injured athlete.

How exactly is this "way before"? I understand that, this being MetaFilter, we're supposed to privilege complaints about authority and censorship but I don't think the video supports your contention.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:44 PM on August 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


They do the same kind of shielding at horse events where the horse has a bad fall and needs to be put down.
posted by smackfu at 1:53 PM on August 13, 2008


I notice how the commentators keep saying "We don't need to see that again." But whoever's in the control room keeps showing angle after angle.

Australian television commentators, but using NBC's video feed, so nobody's listening to them ask for no more camera angles. Whichever Oz network is carrying the coverage would have had to completely cut away from the event to their own video feed. Not that they couldn't have done that, but probably not fast enough to make a difference.

Did anyone see this on NBC's own programming? How did they handle it?
posted by briank at 2:01 PM on August 13, 2008


Is it really NBC's video feed? I think there is a generic pool feed that everyone uses. Otherwise you'd have broadcasters from 25+ countries fighting for camera position. The stuff that NBC shows online for less popular sports like weightlifting is (1) in metric unit and (2) non-branded with NBC logos.

Did anyone see this on NBC's own programming? How did they handle it?

They don't show weightlifting, silly! Unless an American medals, and then only as a 3 minute recap.
posted by smackfu at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2008


This has nothing at all on Dave Busst's horror football tackle.

Snappy-snap image here
posted by metaxa at 2:33 PM on August 13, 2008


I find it astounding how fast these videos are being pulled down from Youtube. The Olympics / NBC must have some special line to Google to get takedowns so quickly. That, and some soulless droid whose job it is to monitor the Internet. As soon as some Olympic video gets some interested viewers, quick! stamp it out.
posted by Nelson at 2:39 PM on August 13, 2008


For how long, why knows?
posted by gman at 3:00 PM on August 13, 2008


Is it really NBC's video feed? I think there is a generic pool feed that everyone uses.

Right. Provided by NBC.

The stuff that NBC shows online for less popular sports like weightlifting is (1) in metric unit and (2) non-branded with NBC logos.

So that networks in other countries can use it. Did you watch the Australian video? It's NBC's feed.
posted by briank at 3:16 PM on August 13, 2008


Can't have something like this on TV, oh no. Hide it away. Just like that 7 year old girl that was supposed to sing but was hidden away because of her crooked teeth, and replaced by a more photogenic girl who lipsynced over the actual performance.

Yeah, that's so Chinese.
posted by horsewithnoname at 3:32 PM on August 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ow, ow, ow. Reminds me of a wrestling incident.
posted by Remy at 3:54 PM on August 13, 2008


Regardless of why they brought out the cardboard, if I were Baranyai, I would've appreciated the miniscule privacy it afforded. Obviously not at the moment, but later, when I could think about all the people internationally who saw me that helpless and tortured.
posted by artifarce at 4:47 PM on August 13, 2008


Based on the comments I've been reading so far, I think I may have to bookmark this thread, take a few Xanax, and then look at the photos.

In my teen years, I was once at a hardcore show, watching the band from the back wall of the club. Suddenly, from out of the pit came three shirtless skinheads, one of them with his right shoulder badly dislocated. The place was pretty crowded, but, lucky me, they found space to perform a "re-location" right in front of me.

One guy held his agonizing friend, while the other took hold of his arm and told him, "Ready? One, two, three!" and with a swinging, pushing-up motion, popped the arm back into the shoulder socket ... where it promptly popped back out again. I will never forget the scream that came out of that kid's mouth at that moment. It was nerve-rending.

Surprisingly, he let his friend give the re-location another go. On the second attempt, it popped back in and stayed this time. Overjoyed, he made his way back to the pit to slam his way through the rest of the set.

Say what you will about skinheads - if you dislocate something at a punk rock show, they're always more than happy to pop it back into its socket.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:08 PM on August 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Huh? I can't possible be the only one enjoying Phelps' streak.

Fuck, I wish he was streaking.

Wait, what?

It really is unbelievable watching him tear up the pool like that. I don't think we're going to see another swimmer like him for quite some time.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:09 PM on August 13, 2008


So that networks in other countries can use it. Did you watch the Australian video? It's NBC's feed.

Actually, I'm pretty certain that it's a Chinese broadcaster that provides the feeds to everyone.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:16 PM on August 13, 2008


... like we're biological programmed to just want to fucking scream and flee when something this wrong happens to someone nearby.

And yet everyone slows down to rubberneck at the site (and sight) of a horrific automobile accident.
posted by bwg at 5:49 PM on August 13, 2008


@briank: I think the pool feed is handled by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting, whose crew members are easily identified by their vests with "BOB 09," etc.:
"As the Host Broadcaster of the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, BOB will provide International Television and Radio (ITVR) Signals for the broadcasters across the world, and plan, design, install, construct and operate the National Broadcast Centre (IBC) and the necessary broadcast facilities in other venues, and provide related services for the Rights-Holding Broadcasters during the Beijing Games."
posted by underthehat at 5:59 PM on August 13, 2008


i'm cool with the cardboard. the cardboard kids, the medics, the stretcher lady, they all came out at almost exactly the same time. so zero problem on that front.

it's a pretty darn good compromise move, i think. the knee-jerk reaction would be to switch the cameras off entirely. the sicko-gawker other end of the spectrum would be to purposely train 5 cameras on a guy who just had a terrible accident befall him in public.

so the cardboard means the crowd can still empathize-participate-whatever, but at a remove, so the guy doesn't get turned into a public freakshow any worse than he already is. i honestly can't think of a better way to handle it.
posted by facetious at 7:13 PM on August 13, 2008


I saw the post, and thought, "I don't want to click on that." Yet, I did. I knew I would. I clicked on the video, and the link was down already, and I thought, "Well, that's a relief." I continued to read, saw the photos, and thought, "Breakfast was a bad idea. At least there's no video." Then, well, I saw the video on the Liveleak site.

I would say damn you all, but it was my own sick, sick inability to stop clicking links that I know will do bad things to my dreams.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:23 PM on August 13, 2008


Back... and to the left.
Back... and to the left.
Back... and to the left....
posted by ZachsMind at 7:41 PM on August 13, 2008


circa 1980s

"For those of you just tuning in, we have a breaking news story. As you can see from the replay, just moments ago, President Ronald Reagan has just been shot. We don't know by whom yet because the secret service took down the assailant pretty fast, so we don't have a lot of details quite yet, but we do have this footage of President Ronald Reagan being shot. Here it is again for the thirty-second time... Isn't that awful? Joining me now is some muckety muck big wig talking head type of person who will not be able to shed any more truth on this but will fill up time while we wait for more pertinent information. Mister Mucketymuck have you seen the footage of Ronald Reagan being shot yet?"

"No I'm sorry I haven't I was just arriving for--"

"Well here it is again! ...Isn't that tragic? What do you think?"

"...Wow. I'm uh.."

"Isn't that just terrible? Are you at a loss for words, sir?"

"I'm here to be interviewed about the recent congressional hearing on--"

"Isn't that fascinating? For those of you just joining us now, we have a breaking news story. As you can see from this replay..."
posted by ZachsMind at 7:53 PM on August 13, 2008


My point in the previous two posts, in case someone can't hear the sarcasm in my text, is that human beings are sick mother fuckers. We'll watch anything on the news if it involves someone else in great pain. NASCAR for example. We're watching for the wrecks. What else is there? Are people honestly watching for corporate endorsements on the car paintjobs? No. We wanna see some carnage. We're sick.

PastaBagel: "I would assume they'd keep needles loaded with morphine offstage for just such a contingency."

I thought the Olympics frowned on drug usage.

I originally wasn't going to look at all, but I did peek at the still photos. I think that's more than enough. I have thus far managed to avoid the video. However, I am a human being and like all human beings I am sick. We just can't help but rubberneck at an accident on the side of the road, except for those of us who have rubbernecked so many times before we have since learned that the real thing is never as gruesome as our imaginations anyway so what's the point?

This does beg the question though: DOESN'T THIS HAPPEN LIKE ALL THE TIME?

Baranyai was trying to lift 148kg in what they call a "snatch" which for those of us who still haven't switched to metric, means he was lifting 326 pounds. I understand that the world record is 173kg, held by Sergey Filimonov of Kyrgyzstan. Baranyai was nowhere near that.

So apparently weight lifters are lifting over 300 pounds on a regular basis. This is news to me, as I rarely pay attention to "Men Being Stupid" competitions. Occasionally I'll watch a pie eating contest, but they only make me hungry. So anyway, apparently weight lifters are lifting over 300 pounds on a regular basis, and their arms never rebel? What about those pesky little Laws of Physics I'm always hearing about? Don't they have something to say about the subject?

In an attempt to put this in some kind of perspective for myself, I did a search on the Internet to try to find something that was 326 pounds, so I could get a visual in my mind of what exactly Baranyai was trying to lift. I found this: "William Taft was the largest president (of the US) at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 326 pounds." In other words, Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai was snatching William Taft. You can't go around all your life snatching US Presidents and not expect your arm to break off.

If you personally don't have a mental image of William Taft, I also noticed when I searched for "326 pounds" that some names of football players came up too. So Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai was trying to pick up and lift over his head an offensive lineman for a major league professional football team.

If you can't manage that, try imagining that Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai was lifting over his head three of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. That's not quite as accurate, but I just like imagining the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders doing, y'know, anything.

Surely this isn't the first time a weightlifter's limb broke off at the Olympics. I must assume this happens like every other day when people are nonchalantly lifting "Big and Tall Men" over their heads. Which begs another question: WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYONE DO THIS TO THEMSELVES?

What am I taking away from all this? Exercise is bad. If you don't believe me, just look again at Janos Baranyai. If it weren't for all that pesky weightlifting, he'd still have two good arms.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:15 AM on August 14, 2008


ZachsMind has never watched World's Strongest Man, apparently.
posted by paisley henosis at 3:19 AM on August 14, 2008


326 pounds is small potatoes... a glance at wikipeida and the current world record for the snatch is 469.6 lb. It's all about technique, I used to work with someone who used to weight lift in the army and he said he would practice for hours with a bar with little or no weight on it to get everything exactly right.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:46 AM on August 14, 2008


Still can't see the video. Who owns the copyright to it anyways?
posted by Vindaloo at 6:32 AM on August 14, 2008


The company that paid the rights for the Olympics in your country.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 AM on August 14, 2008


The NASCAR reference reminded me of something one of their officials once said, along the lines of "fans don't want to see huge wrecks where a driver dies, they want to see huge wrecks where the driver walks away."

Note the several stories about athletes who came back from injuries that could've ended their careers, and now they are back at the Olympics.

Inspiration comes in many forms.
posted by dragonsi55 at 7:26 AM on August 14, 2008


What am I taking away from all this? Exercise is bad.

Perhaps even evil.
posted by ersatz at 9:48 AM on August 14, 2008


If you need to lift 450 pounds, you go get a forklift. This is a silly sport.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:03 AM on August 16, 2008


All sports are silly. That's why we like them.
posted by ersatz at 4:27 PM on August 16, 2008


After dabbling it for a year while doing Crossfit, I have thrown myself fully into the world of competitive Olympic weightlifting. And it is sad, sad, sad to see this much ignorance about the sport. Zachsmind, you have no idea what you're talking about. That's OK--most people say "weightlifting" and they think of the dudes with giant man-boob pecs at the gym screaming at the bench press and injecting themselves with energy drinks.

For the uninitiated, there are significant differences between bodybuilding-type weightlifting (the type you see at most gyms, often using machines and incorporating bicep curls and "isolation" movements) and Olympic weightlifting. Olympic weightlifting involves the snatch and the clean-and-jerk. During a competition, you get three attempts at each lift, and the highest attempt of each lift are totaled. You win if your total is the highest of your weight class.

The Olympic lifts are not grunt-and-sweat moves that are geared simply to put on gigantic muscles and make all the ladies come running to your guns of steel. They are highly technical and require balance, coordination, explosive power, speed, and precise timing as well as strength. Unlike a deadlift, a bench press, or a squat, the entire movement will take seconds and in general you either have the lift or you don't, as if your form is good there is a very, very low likelihood you will be unable to squat up what you've caught into position.

Anyway, because these are such technical lifts they CAN be dangerous if you are an untrained novice who is trying to teach themselves off of videos. But they are absolutely, perfectly safe if you're in a controlled coaching environment, which this guy undoubtably was. And at his level, you are rarely hitting your personal records during competition. You are attempting lifts that you know you can do, and what you attempt is determined by your coach who looks at what other lifters are attempting and are strategizing based on that. Weightlifting is interesting--it's one of those sports where you pretty much know for sure on entry where you're going to place within one or two spots, unless one of your competitors completely blows it.

So this guy was putting up a lift he knew he could do. He was doing it in a controlled environment. He underwent impeccable training in the movement and has probably more athletic ability in his little finger than anyone in this thread. This accident was simply a freak accident. If you look at the statistics, less people are injured in weightlifting than in almost any other sport--check out the table in this article for an example, there are plenty more out there. Think of how many runners, soccer players, swimmers complain of shin splints or knee pains or shoulder issues or have to eventually undergo surgery and suffer from repetitive stress injuries later in life. The injuries that weightlifters do get can be BAD when they go down--like this guy's--but they are incredibly, incredibly rare. I have run, I have swam, I have biked, I've dabbled in martial arts, and I have never been injury-free EXCEPT during weightlifting. Food for thought.


As for the sport being "silly"--you know what's silly? Feeling like you have to be able to run 26.2 miles to be fit. How the hell is that useful in your daily life? I did triathlons, and I was weak as shit and still not any better at moving boxes, getting groceries, climbing stairs, and doing those things that make me a more functional human being. But that man who can put 346 pounds above his head in a single, graceful, quick movement--that guy needs NO fucking help moving his own boxes. He is going to have reflexes, speed, coordination, and strength beyond what you could ever dream of having. If that's not what you value, fine. But I value being a functional human being, and Olympic weightlifting is a great way to get there.
posted by schroedinger at 11:20 PM on August 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


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