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Our Thoughts and Prayers Are With Kevin Ogar

Prayers for Kevin Ogar
Our Thoughts and Prayers Are With Kevin Ogar
Written by C.J. Martin

We just wrapped up a weekend of competition at the OC Throwdown, and while there is much to celebrate and recap, now is not the appropriate time for that. The full focus and energy of the Invictus community should be with Kevin Ogar. Kevin suffered a significant spinal cord injury during a snatch event at today’s competition. As reported by his friends at Barbells for Boobs, Kevin does not yet have voluntary movement below his waist.

I don’t know Kevin personally, but I know the character of athletes in this community. I know that in order to get to Kevin’s level of performance an athlete has to show years of dedication, hard work and continually overcome perceived obstacles. I also know that Kevin is part of a community that will provide their unrelenting support to ensure that he has the resources he needs during his recovery.

As is far too common in our industry – and among seemingly invincible young, high-level athletes – Kevin is uninsured. His recovery process will take time and resources, and I believe that as a community we must rally together to ensure that money is not an obstacle in helping him receive the highest quality health care. Fundraising efforts are being organized, and Invictus will give it’s full support to those fundraising efforts as soon details are finalized. In the meantime, I ask that you direct your thoughts and prayers to Kevin Ogar and his family.

UPDATE : The Official Fundraising website for Kevin Ogar is now up. Please head over and donate to help his path to recovery.

http://kevinogar.com/

  • Rachel
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  • Mike Ford

    So sorry to hear that….we at BCF will help out any way possible. Keep us up -dated so I can organize efforts on our end.

  • Facebook User

    Hello Crossfitters–I am absolutely devastated by this news. Though trite, this cannot have happened to a finer individual. My name is Alex and I worked out at Crossift Unbroken for about 6 months. During that time, Kevin was an awesome coach, a super athlete and an all around great dude. Even after a disasterous WOD, Kevin was encouraging and helpful. The bottom line: he cares a great deal and that’s a rare trait these days.

    Anyway, he’s in my thoughts and I’m totally pulling for him. I’m no MD, but I have heard in many cases, such paralysis is temporary and full movement can be retained. I fervently hope that happens here.

    Only the very best wishes to Kevin and his family.

    Signed,
    Alex and the many individuals he has influenced as a coach.

  • http://www.philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

    AUGH. This is a former CrossFit trainer of mine, from a few years ago. He’s an awesome guy, and I hope that he recovers fully.

  • Dave Clarke

    I’m sure I’ll be viewed as an asshole and I have to say it is totally irresponsible of him to not have had insurance. There really is no excuse, especially as a “high-level athlete”. His injury is tragic and I pray for a full recovery for him and this should be a wake up call to all-level athletes. Health insurance is your responsibility… pay for it before you pay your gym membership, before you buy spendy WOD gear (compression pants, oly shoes, lululemon swag, whey protein, post WOD Starbucks coffee, etc.). Take care of yourself Kevin and everyone else reading this, please don’t let being uninsured become “common”.

    • Cj Martin

      Dave, I have written about this in the past, and one of my greatest moments as a business owner was realizing that I could provide group health insurance to all of my employees. I pray that other business owners, especially those in the CrossFit community, will look into obtaining insurance coverage for their employees. There are lots of options out there which are affordable, and it’s well worth the investment to protect our employees/members of our gym families.

      • Dave Clarke

        good on ya CJ. The individual can always obtain coverage without employer sponsorship. It just needs to become a priority for people and I’m afraid that most assume they can’t afford it while at the same time affording other luxuries at the expense of not covering themselves. Now with the ACA in full swing, people who truly can’t afford coverage can get a federal subsidy. There is little excuse anymore. My two cents. Still, saying prayers for Kevin, a dude I don’t know but who is part of my community. God be with him and his surgeons today.

      • Dave

        Not to make a political statement, but before his injury this is the exact person Obamacare was intended for to make up for the fact that many unhealthy individuals would need subsidies. Now that he has a “pre-existing condition” he’ll still be able to obtain coverage through Obamacare, although unfortunately that won’t likely pay for the care he has received as uninsured so far.

    • swing8

      Agreed. If the Games isn’t going to provide in-competition coverage then it should be required that athletes have their own prior. There should be enough money coming into the sport now for that to happen.

    • TRT

      Well said, Dave. But it’s already going to become “common”… the sight has already raised 75K for him…all it does is send the message that if you’re uninsured, others will bail you out.
      So sad that he is injured, and prayers to him for full recovery…I just hope that others start to think about this flawed system…yes, affording Lulu swag and Sarbucks, but no insurance…

  • Gregor Pišek

    I’m in no way shape or form associated with CrossFit but am deepley sadened by this news. As I see the money is rapidly growing and I hope that his story will become one of success! You are in my prayers!

  • Joe Silvestri

    pretty tough to swallow what happened to Kevin at the OCT. i don’t know the guy, but it doesn’t make what happened any less unsettling. my thoughts are with him as he gets on the road to recovery. are there any updates on the barbell for boobs fundraising page for Kevin?

  • Joe Silvestri

    pretty tough to swallow what happened to Kevin at the OCT. i don’t know the guy, but it doesn’t make what happened any less unsettling. my thoughts are with him as he gets on the road to recovery. are there any updates on the barbell for boobs fundraising page for Kevin?

  • Amina

    Sending our support and thoughts to the crossfit family , from the crossfitSV team. Let us know what we can do to help

  • Nate Bacott

    CJ: Thank you guys for posting this. I have been a friend of Kevin for 6 years and he’s the one who pushed me to get my L1 in the first place. We started CF together and he’s an amazing individual. Your post along with all the other support is getting through to him and he’s as stubborn and optimistic as ever. I chatted with him on the phone and he said “Screw patience. I’m gonna have a lot of fun getting that first step back.” Thats the kind of man he is. Thank you again for the post and helping with Kev.

  • T-Rex

    OMFG Having streamed some of the event it looked like a great time! To hear something like this happened was crazy! My thoughts and prayers for the guy…..I am hopeful that his surgery is successful and he is able to fully recover/compete again. Definitely gonna keep my eyes peeled for that fundraising page.

  • Katie Wedel

    Here’s the site where there are donations heading his way:

    https://fundly.com/kevin-ogar-s-recovery

    • Ritarsha Y. King

      apparently the fundly site is taking 5% on top of the 3% that Visa is charging. If you wait, Barbells for Boobs is setting up a site that will only charge the 3% for Visa. Why someone didn’t set up an account through Paypal for this free of charge I don’t know…

  • Herpa Dipderp

    Snap city

  • Joanne Cookham

    Terrible but proof if proof was needed that Olympic lifts are dangerous and should not be treated so lightly. I Crossfit without oly lifting and its very effective. Oly lifting is highly complex and should be left to specialists. This is not and will not be the firt person we see disabled by the ever growing macho insanity prevalent in Crossfit these days. The Games has only done damage in my opinion. It has created unrealistic and dangerous goals. I wish him all the best

    • B. Brooke Mann

      “Oly lifting is highly complex and should be left to specialists.”

      Joanne,
      I challenge you to find someone who’s more of a specialist than Kevin
      Ogar: “His athletic background began in high school where Kevin
      competed in Olympic and Power Lifting, and continued to compete in Power
      Lifting through college at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Kevin
      also played Rugby in college, and acted as the team’s Strength Coach.”
      [Source: http://gymvision.com/athletes/kevin-ogar/ ]

      • Eddie Amaya

        “”His athletic background began in high school where Kevin competed in Olympic and Power Lifting, and continued to compete in Power
        Lifting through college at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Kevin
        also played Rugby in college, and acted as the team’s Strength Coach” with that level of experience and yet still managed to get hurt only strengthens the argument that is to be left to the specialists.

        • Chris

          People get hurt on the platform at the Olympics, so you must be saying that the snatch and clean and jerk should be banned, since even experts get hurt.

          • Eddie Amaya

            sorry i have no idea what any of those are my life does not revolve around working out ,this was just a random article i read

            • Jonathan

              Then don’t pipe up and share your opinion if you admittedly know nothing about it. Geez.

          • Josh

            What’s the worst injury ever suffered by an Olympic lifter performing only Oly lifts? This is just an honest question

            • Chris

              This is one of the worst I’ve seen since I’ve followed the sport. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx6i2cyaSMc

              • Josh

                So the worst injury you could find of an expert, oly lifter is one where he dislocates his shoulder/elbow? While this is extremely painful this is recoverable. Paralysis is permanent. If there’s one thing I wish the CF community would take away from this is that oly lifting is great…with the correct programming. It should not be done with other lifts/movements…for time….for reps….or for weight. It should be it’s own entity in a training program. Not performed in a circuit or with severely depleted energy.

                • Chris

                  I didn’t look very hard, this is just one that stuck in my mind. Did you see how the bar fell on his neck afterwards? It’s one of those things that is just a freak accident. Inch up or inch down could be the same situation – you never know.

                  • Josh

                    Oh the video you showed is definitely one of the worst, if not the worst, oly lift injury ever. What happened to Kevin is probably the first case of someone getting paralyzed performing an oly lift. However, all the major injuries you could find online of oly lifting injuries are of men/women who performed them at olympic levels and only focused on oly lifting. They have been training for years and the sport has been around for decades. Thousands upon thousands have performed these movements with the worst injuries being dislocated elbows, shoulders, knees. VERY painful, but recoverable…and they’re very rare. Oly lifters pride themselves with the fewest injuries of any major sport because they do every rep for perfection with few reps and long breaks. Yet, CF has been around for about 8-10 years (with only the last 4-5 years booming in the fitness market) and already someone is paralyzed. Point being, it’s great CF likes to borrow from other areas of fitness and I’m all for it. However, it needs to be done with proper programming. You could have the greatest technique in the world but the moment you throw unnecessary movements, or any movement for that matter, with oly lifting you’re asking for trouble. Was this an accident? Yes. Could it have been avoided? Maybe. Could the risk been minimized? Absolutely. How? Don’t perform oly lifts after running 3 damn miles with weight on back (or any where for the matter). Take oly lifts out of CF and you’ll still have a great, and much safer, workout.

                    • Chris

                      I agree 100%, a lot of the programming out there is asinine.

      • Josh

        High school oly lifting and advanced professional lifting are two totally different levels unless you are in a specialty program and training with professional level coaches…not your typical high school strength coach. Now, I don’t know what level of oly lifting Kevin’s background is but I sure as hell know any experienced oly lifter will tell you you DO NOT perform oly lifts for time or max out reps/weight while performing other movements. You do it on it’s own with no other movements except for mobility drills. My heart goes out to this fine athlete and do not wish this on anyone. I don’t necessarily blame him for what happened. Accidents happen to the professional as well as the amateur. I’m not saying this could’ve been completely avoided but the key to avoiding injury is to minimize risk. Oly lifting is already dangerous (while still being an AMAZING exercise) but to add other strenuous movements ON TOP of oly lifting is flat out stupid. Any descent oly lifter or coach will tell you this. CF needs to stop manipulating other realms of fitness and mutilating it to the point where everyone is getting f’d up. This is by far the worst case of a CF injury (not oly lifting injury) i have ever heard of (aside from someone dying from rhabdo but that is eeeeextremely isolated). All of us wish this didn’t happen but at the very minimum a STRONG lesson can be taken from this injury, and a plethora of severe injuries that plague the CF community, and STOP with the unnecessary programming that involves oly lifts for time/max reps, kipping pull-ups, overhead kettlebells wings, and the like. Proper form, every time, with breaks, with personal competition, not fellow competition. Because once you compete with someone else with these group of movements one after the other you are not caring about form and technique, you care about winning and unless $250k is worth paralysis then I suggest everyone in the CF community knocks it off and learns proper programming.

        • Jared

          Professional lifting? Olympic-style weightlifting is amateur sport.

          • Josh

            My apologies. A better would should be “expert”.

    • Ali

      Olympic lifts aren’t dangerous. Oly lifts performed CrossFit-style are dangerous. By CF-style, I mean any combination of: for time, in combination with other grueling movements/metcons, or with CF form standards (i.e. pressing out of either lift, elbows on the knees in the clean, etc). In my mind there’s nothing wrong with having an Oly lifting segment in a CF competition. But it should be done as the first event of a competition, as a 1RM or something similar (not as part of a met con or for time or whatever), and should be done with Oly form standards so lifters aren’t trying to save lifts that shouldn’t be saved and getting hurt in the process. Olympic lifting is awesome; CF is just doing it wrong.

  • Kit Perkins

    It seems to me that athletes shouldn’t be allowed to compete without insurance.

    http://masculon.com/fitness/kevin-ogar-injury-crossfit/

    • Anne Holtz

      What’s next? Not working out if you don’t have insurance? Then people get fat get diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., then can’t get a job then are on disability and government assistance forever. Crossfit is very safe in most of the time. This was a very sad tradegy.

      • Tank

        It is a sad tragedy, but you can’t compare “working out” and scalable CF to competition-level CF. It’s like comparing bumper cars to NASCAR. There’s no excuse not to have it as of Jan 1.

    • TRT

      I thought everyone HAD to have insurance, period. I mean, I don’t like paying for it, but it’s the right thing to do….
      Now people are paying for him…I just think there is something wrong with this system. Tragic yes. Prayers with him and family…but raising money for this just makes it seem like if you aren’t doing the right thing, everyone else who already pays, will bail you out. Flawed system.

    • Tank

      Also, insurance isn’t a CF responsibility; it’s an individual’s responsibility, as of March 31, if you’re not insured, they’ll take 1% of your gross salary as a fine and still require that you get coverage. It’s a federal law now, folks. To not have it is like a glaring example of natural selection.

    • lasims

      Even if he had insurance, his condition would bankrupt him…

  • Joshua Pester

    Despite everybody’s personal views on CrossFit/Oly Lifting/Competition, I think we’re missing the point here. A good dude is having surgery ON HIS SPINE after a terrible ACCIDENT. It’s easy to say what ‘should have happened’ after the fact. The only thing that should happen now is everybody come together to help this guy out.

    • Ali

      With all due respect that’s not the only thing that should happen. The other thing that should happen–NEEDS to happen–is a move to serious changes that reduce the risk of this ever happening again.

      • Joshua Pester

        For the purpose of THIS blog post, I think the only important thing trying to be conveyed is that we rally around this athlete. All of the opinions are welcomed, but that is secondary to what the primary purpose is right now.

        • Cj Martin

          That’s exactly correct. Ali, I agree that conversations should happen to consider how we can prevent injuries like this from happening again, but I do not believe this is the time or the forum for those discussions.

  • TRT

    Why wasn’t he insured?

    • Tank

      Irresponsible.

      • TRT

        Or genius? 75K already?

        • Tank

          Good point!

          • Chester

            @ TRT & Tank: Shame on you for those particularly insensitive comments. God forbid you find yourselves in a position where you are struck down by significant sickness or injury REGARDLESS of fault or cause. I don’t know Kevin or anyone from the affiliate, but what I can guarantee is that any elite athlete would trade 10 times the figure you are quoting to be fit and well. Speedy recovery Kevin. Stay positive.

      • Cj Martin

        This is simply not the forum to cast judgment on a man that you do not know in his greatest time of need. Please respect that. There may be a time and place for more political discussions on insurance policies and procurement, but this is neither.

  • scottrichardson

    What a terrible accident. So sorry to hear of his injury. Yes, accidents happen, but when it causes an injury like this, it really does suck. How unfortunate about the insurance. Props to everyone who has donated so far and raised so much in such a short time.

  • Amy Noraka

    It saddens me to see how little compassion most of you have for other people. Regardless of what caused Kevin’s injury or whether or not he had insurance, Kevin needs our help and compassion right now. Accidents happen every day and often times we even make decisions to do things that we know we should not be doing. However, when a tragedy strikes like it did to Kevin, it is not the time to cast blame or to be judgmental. It is always easy to look back and comment on what should have happened or what people should have done. Unfortunately, it’s too late for that. If you don’t want to donate or help in any way…don’t. I just hope you don’t end on the other side one day where you need help and compassion from other people but they don’t think you are worthy of it. Kevin, my prayers are with you and I hope you get all of the help you need.

    • Cj Martin

      Exactly, thank you Amy.

  • dmf

    It saddens me to see all of these negative comments. I did not see the accident so I cannot say what happened, but as the article states Kevin has been an athlete for a long time, and I am almost certain that he probably listened to his body, and followed the form that he has always done. He was obviously a strong competitor and very knowledgable about the dos and don’ts of olympic lifting, and this is a time to send prayers to him and his family, not to sit and talk about his insurance policy or how crossfit has set the bar too high for people. That is no ones business, and no one should be judging…you either support the cause of helping him or you don’t, bottom line. Kevin…I hope you have a speedy recovery! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

    • Cj Martin

      Thank you for understanding what’s important here.

    • Ali Jones

      Well said. Thank you.

  • Cj Martin

    For all coming to this site for the first time and reading this article, please respect that Invictus has created a culture of respect and encouragement. This forum has, for five years, been a forum to share ideas on how to make individuals happier and healthier, and to support and encourage others. Please save all political discussions or condemnations for other, more appropriate forums.

    Thank you!

  • Olivia

    He was injured from the competitions extremely terrible programming! Starting off with a 3RM touch and go snatch was stupid. And anyone who says that if they were in a competition but refused to do something because they felt it was unsafe is full of crap… They would man up and do it anyways. Kevin is an excellent athlete who preformed movements that have never been an option to do in the first place. But it was a competition and he did and he’s clearly suffering for the programming. He is a specialist, he’s a coach, so shame on all of you who lump the bad crossfitters into one group and assume we’re all the same! Your also full of crap if you say that you’ve never tried something risky or stupid in whatever you train for…. We all make mistakes and sucks that some of them end like this!! And enough of the stupid insurance comments seriously!!! How many people really have followed this law to the T annnd there are a lot of people who are doing dangerous activities and should have it… And yet they don’t!!! So quit saying he should have known better. I mean really shame on all of you who think your better just because you only oly lift, or because you have insurance, or because you’ve never worked out a day in your life and yet you feel the need to bash someone who just ended his career, his passion, and his love!!! And before the grammar nazis come out… It’s late, and I didn’t proof read but thanks in advanced for your glorious input!

  • Custador

    What the hell do you expect, seriously?! Crossfit has ZERO focus on proper form, and you seem to think you can haul Olympic weights without it. And now somebody has been seriously hurt because of that. How can you be shocked by this? Ten seconds on Youtube should show you EXACTLY how retarded Crossfit is. Jesus, people!

    • lasims

      If you think this, why are you even on this page??? Pretty ironic don’t you thing? Don’t disparage something you know nothing about. Makes you look unintelligent. When people use hurtful adjectives (retarded…really?) it usually means they have nothing intelligent to say. This man is seasoned athlete and accidents do happen… they can even happen to you when you are doing your bicep curls.

    • Wendell webber

      Disrespectful internet troll.

    • Gemma Leevosky

      With your logic, Olympic-level athletes MUST NOT get any injuries at all. Wait, they do here and there. If you have nothing logical to say, just leave. You’re one of those people who have no knowledge in certain areas but love to talk about it (usually bad things) and think they are smarter than others. In reality, you are nothing but a pathetic loser with a keyboard. Spend your time on something you really care, not what you don’t like.

      • Custador

        Please show me an example of an Olympic lifter breaking their back during a lift.

        • lasims

          I just googled olympic weight lifting injury videos and dozens of videos of athletes dropping bars on their heads and breaking bones came up… it happens…. just like all accidents

        • lasims
        • Monica Bennett

          i think its sick how you are coming on a place where people are sending good vibes to a person who injured themselves doing something they love and you have the audacity to come on here and send such a negative vibe. Olympic lifters break things all the time, like their arms, so think before you speak.

          • Herkus

            If you feel bad for Kevin, you should take that anger out on the people responsible for popularizing these dangerous, ignorant, improperly performed lifting techniques.

        • Luke Palmisano

          Custador,

          Thanks for your response. My name is Luke, and I live in Denver, and work at CrossFit Verve. I can’t speak for the moderators for, or the employees of CrossFit Invictus, but I can assure you that your stereotype of CrossFit is wrong. We dedicate much time and effort to getting people to move safely, with loads that they can handle. I can say that I have had the pleasure of training people who previously had gone to CF Invictus, and it was obvious that they received fantastic training. More to the point, I think people may be put off by the tone of your comments. This really isn’t a time to bash CrossFit. More a time to lend support to Kevin Ogar. I don’t know where you are from, but if you are ever in Denver, I invite you to watch one of our classes at CrossFit Verve. I have a feeling your opinion may change.

        • ModernDayDrew

          Actually there is a video of Matthias Steiner and a few others whom luckily didn’t suffer too bad of injuries. I’d figure a fat fuck coach potato like yourself, who has nothing going on in your life, would of found something by now. I guess not, you’re too busy eating. Go figure!

        • Jon Smith

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY0pqlvjGFQ

          Because this isn’t what happened to him right? Matthias Steiner only drops 432 at the olympics on his neck, doesn’t break his neck so he’s not an idiot right? Quit being ignorant you clown, in case you haven’t seen there’s a ton of olympic athletes who dislocate elbows and break them or drop weight on their neck during the olympics

    • Herkus

      It was an accident that could have been easily prevented with even basic knowledge of proper weightlifting technique or responsible coaching, two things Crossfit dangerously lacks.

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  • Liz Wollmuth

    what is wrong with these people that they feel the need to post a negative comment about Kevin or crossfit? This was an accident, and a horrible one, this page should be about support for Kevin, not bashing the man, his actions or those of the crossfit community. Find another venue for that. Start your own page/blog/whatever. Show some respect for an athlete who was injured doing something he loved.

  • Nestor Coris

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Kevin.

  • Katie I (NW)

    My heart goes out to Kevin and his family! My thoughts and prayers go out to him!

  • Tessa Yost

    My thoughts are with Kevin and his family. Sending healing energy to him.

  • Herkus

    What happened to Kevin was tragic but preventable. He should not be doing the dangerous, ignorant techniques that are what pass for “Crossfit” these days. If that hurts your feelings, too bad. Better that people know and more lives are spared than we all tiptoe around the fact that his injury was easily seen coming by people who’ve taken the time to study proper weightlifting form and who understand Crossfit for what it is: a poorly-regulated cash-grab run by immoral, incompetent, unqualified coaches.

    • ModernDayDrew

      Yet as we see again we have another immoral, incompetent, and unqualified poster who has no idea wtf they are talking about. I guess my classes with oly coaches are just a dream and getting judged to the standards weren’t real. Get bent helmet.

      • remcycle

        Except that the snatch is a pretty dumb exercise.

        If you want to do deadlifts, do deadlifts. If you want to do cleans, do cleans. If you want to do shoulder presses, do shoulder presses. Do all three in separate sets even.

        Don’t roll them all into one because it looks cool…unless of course you’re willing to pay for it with your mobility.

        And yes, your classes with oly coaches don’t mean shit.

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