A few weeks ago, back when the 2012 London Olympics were still going strong, German weightlifter Matthias Steiner accidentally dropped over 400 pounds on his neck. It was terrifying, obviously, but because Steiner walked away relatively unscathed, the incident didn’t really leave an impression.
What happened last week to Russian weightlifter Igor Golushkin will definitely leave an impression.
Golushkin, 34, was competing in a powerlifting competition when, for whatever reason, the bar slipped out of his hands and dropped straight onto his chest.
According to eyewitness, the sportsman used unsafe (banned) technique called “open grip” [ed: possibly related to the position of thumb while holding the bar]. Already during the training session he had the weight of 160 kg slipping from his hands, but then spotters managed to hold the bar.
During the competition, however, the spotters did not succeed to catch the bar in time. Everything happened very quickly. With the torn diaphragm and broken ribs the sportsman was brought to hospital.
UPDATE: The injury appeared to be fatal. Igor died in hospital from heart concussion.
Here is the video (warning: it’s obviously very disturbing):
Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful.
The worst thing about this is that it was inevitable. How many near-misses did we need to see before folks realized that stricter safety rules needed to be implemented at these contests? Did we really have to watch a 34-year-old man to die in order to understand that people who lift mind-blowing amounts of weight over their heads must be protected from themselves?
It’s too late to do anything for Golushkin now, but hopefully this tragedy will get everyone to open their eyes about how dangerous this sport really is.
(Kudos The Big Lead)
Photo Credit: SportsGrid