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Old 05-09-2007, 10:47 PM
marshmallow marshmallow is offline
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Has any athlete ever been paralyzed from an in-game injury?

I'm watching the Golden State vs. Utah NBA playoff game and one of the Utah Jazz players had quite the nasty spill. He was sliding backwards on his butt with his body upright and then somone else basically fell on his head. It looked really bad but he's apparently OK (he can move his limbs and everything, he's in the hospital though).

I've wondered about this before -- I'm surprised a really bad accident like this hasn't happened before in basektball (huge guys falling out of the air, no helmets, no padding, and the addition of a hardwood floor) or any other sport, really, especially rugby, soccer, or football. I think I remember a story several years ago of a high school cheerleader being severely hurt because her fellow cheerleaders didn't catch her when she was in the air and she landed poorly but I could be wrong. I don't think she was paralyzed but I don't remember much.

Are there any examples?
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:51 PM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
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Hmmm. I recall a college football player with a severe neck injury during practice, but I can't recall anything that would have been televised.
  #3  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:54 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Darryl Stingley.

This is the most famous case I can think of. He was a quadraplegic after a devastating hit from Jack Tatum in 1978. He died last month.

Last edited by Argent Towers; 05-09-2007 at 10:55 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:57 PM
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Manduck Manduck is offline
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Darryl Stingley

Also I guess Christopher Reeve counts - he was injured in a horse jumping competition.
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:58 PM
Dignan Dignan is offline
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As Argent Staley said, Darryl Stingley was paralyzed in a pre-season game.

Dennis Byrd, a football player for the New York Jets, was paralyzed in a game in the early 1990's.

Two players from the Detroit Lions have been paralyzed, Mike Utley, a lineman, and Reggie Brown, a linebacker.

Adam Taliaferro was a freshman at Penn State when he was paralyzed in a game (I think it was against Ohio State).

There was a football player for the University of Washington that was paralyzed, and later died.

Some of the players (Byrd, Utley, Brown, Taliaferro) will have some function return to the point where they are able to walk again. Stingley was a quadriplegic for the rest of his life.
  #6  
Old 05-09-2007, 10:58 PM
Bender44 Bender44 is offline
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Plenty in football-Darryl Stingley,
Dennis Byrd, Mike Utley

And thats just in the pro's
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:05 PM
Queuing Queuing is offline
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Happens in hockey as well.

Travis Roy Foundation
  #8  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:05 PM
treis treis is offline
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Here is the hit on Stingly: http://youtube.com/watch?v=5fpbnPHoi04
  #9  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:19 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Hall of fame player Nick Bouniconti's son Marc was paralyzed after making a hit during a college game:
Quote:
In 1985, after his son Marc suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury making a tackle for The Citadel, Nick became the public face of the group that founded the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, now one of the world's leading neurological research centers.

Last edited by Spoke; 05-09-2007 at 11:23 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-09-2007, 11:24 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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Risk of spinal cord injury is quite high in both rugby union and league. There are various rules, particularly regarding scrums and tackling, that attempt to lower this risk.

http://www.thescizone.com/news/artic...at/Page-1.html

Quote:
Rugby union players are four times more likely to wind up as quadriplegics than their rugby league counterparts, new research shows.

A study by Adelaide's Flinders University Research Centre for Injury Studies analysed severe spinal cord injuries among players of both codes in NSW between 1986 and 2005.

Researchers found 61 cases of Quadriplegia as a result of catastrophic neck injuries - 36 from union and 25 from league.

At best these players were left with slight movement in their shoulders, but most were completely paralysed from the neck down.
  #11  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:09 AM
marshmallow marshmallow is offline
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Thanks for the replies everyone. It would appear this isn't as ususual as I thought it might. I did my own little search and found the case of gymnast Sang Lan, who was paralyzed below her midchest during the 1999 Goodwill Games. I'm sure she's not the only one for her sport. I shpuld have mentioned gymnastics in the OP, that definitely takes some courage -- one little slip or mistake while spinng in the air and...ouch.
  #12  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:21 AM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1920s Style "Death Ray"
Risk of spinal cord injury is quite high in both rugby union and league. There are various rules, particularly regarding scrums and tackling, that attempt to lower this risk.
Yep.

When i was in about grade 8, a player on my high school's First XV rugby team broke his neck during a game and has been in a wheelchair ever since. He was playing in the centers, and made what looked like a routine tackle on a guy running towards him, but he got his head at a bad angle and when they collided it broke his neck.

I hadn't thought about him for years, but i Googled him after opening this thread, and it appears he is actively involved in Wheelchair Rugby, and was a member of the Australian team at the 2002 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships in Sweden.
  #13  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:59 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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In girls' sports, more than half of the catastrophic injuries - those causing paralysis or death - are happening on the sidelines, in cheerleading accidents.

Cite: CBS News

Some of this is accounted for by the fact that cheerleading is a year-round sport. Often cheerleading coaches are not professionally trained in injury prevention. Often no sports doctor is on hand to treat injuries for cheerleaders, so more participants go directly to emergency rooms. Finally, cheerleading stunts seem to be getting more and more daring.

According to a recent article in the journal Pediatrics, cheerleading injuries have more than doubled in the past thirteen years despite the fact that participation has increased by only eighteen percent.
  #14  
Old 05-10-2007, 01:18 AM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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The New York Times also had a good article on cheerleading injuries recently.
  #15  
Old 05-10-2007, 01:36 AM
MadTheSwine MadTheSwine is offline
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Travis Roy, from the Boston College hockey squad, was paralyzed from the neck down 11 seconds into his first game as a college player.
  #16  
Old 05-10-2007, 05:34 AM
mamboman mamboman is offline
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A fellow called John Farragher broke his neck playing first grade Rubgy League for Penrith in 1978. He stayed with the club and was voted Penrith City's "Citizen of the Year" for 2007.

mm
  #17  
Old 05-10-2007, 10:45 AM
si_blakely si_blakely is offline
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Rugby Union keeps mucking about with the scrum rules in an attempt to reduce spinal injuries - the most recent change being to the engagement (when the scrums come together).

There actually seems to be a bit of a code among the front rowers - something that they use to signal difficulties. I read an interview with an Aussie rugby international who gave credit to his opposite number in the scrum during a scare - the Aussie strained his neck and trapped a nerve during a scrum (causing temporary paralysis and a crack in the neck), yelled something - and his All Black oppo stopped pushing, yelled to stop the scrum, and held the guy in position till the collar was on. All was well in the end, but scrums can be rough.

And I seem to recall a Namibian player breaking his neck at a Rugby World Cup match - I guess in 1999.

Si
  #18  
Old 05-10-2007, 11:47 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is online now
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If bull riding counts, there have been quite a few, such as Jerome Davis.
  #19  
Old 05-10-2007, 11:53 AM
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Ray Chapman was killed due to an on-field baseball injury.
  #20  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:01 PM
happywaffle happywaffle is offline
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Used to be a lot worse; the NCAA was founded because of a tremendous number of injuries on college fields. In 1905 alone, 18 college football players *died*, even though there were only a fraction as many actually playing.
  #21  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:33 PM
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In the early 80's I was at a football game between Long Beach State and UCLA. A Long Beach defensive player broke his neck in a freak accident and was totally paralyzed. The game was stopped for over an hour while they stabilized him and got him off of the field.

Googling tells me that his name is Todd Hart and that they give out an award at Long Beach state, The Todd Hart Courage Award, every year to one of their athletes. I couldn't find anything about his current condition.
  #22  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:40 PM
Huerta88 Huerta88 is offline
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The sad story that came to mind was of Chucky Mullins of Ole Miss -- as is apparently not uncommon, his paralysis led to complications that ultimately proved fatal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chucky_Mullins
  #23  
Old 05-10-2007, 12:55 PM
DoperChic DoperChic is offline
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Not sure if the WWE fits exactly into the definition of a sport (the company bills itself as sprorts entertainment) but wrestler Owen Hart was actually killed during the lead-in to a match.

Quote:
On May 23, 1999 Hart fell to his death in Kansas City, Missouri, during the Over the Edge 1999 pay-per-view event. He was 34 years old. Owen was in the process of being lowered into the ring from the rafters of Kemper Arena for a booked Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather. In keeping with the Blazer's new 'buffoonish superhero' character, Hart was to be lowered to just above ring level, at which time he would release himself from the safety harness and fall flat on his face for comedic effect. It was an elaboration on a Blue Blazer stunt done on the Sunday Night Heat before Survivor Series 1998 where the Blue Blazer had come down from the rafters but was attacked when he was unable to release himself from the harness [34] (that is how the stunt was supposed to go, not a malfunction). Owen had performed the stunt only a few times before, and was worried about performing the stunt at Kemper Arena due to the height involved (Owen had a fear of heights). Something went wrong with the stunt which triggered the early release mechanism. Owen fell 78 feet (24 m) into the ring, smashing his chest on a padded, but still unforgiving turnbuckle, throwing him into the ring. He died from his injuries (including a severed aorta that filled his lungs with blood) less than an hour later[35].
  #24  
Old 05-10-2007, 01:01 PM
Huerta88 Huerta88 is offline
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And in boxing, Duk Koo Kim died after being knocked out by Ray Mancini.
  #25  
Old 05-10-2007, 01:30 PM
borschevsky borschevsky is online now
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Brad Hornung
  #26  
Old 05-10-2007, 01:51 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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NHL player Bill Masterton died after being hit in an NHL game.

Off topic, but similar, NFL player Chuck Hughes had a heart attack and died during a game.
  #27  
Old 05-10-2007, 02:01 PM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is online now
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With reference to the injury mentioned in the OP, from last night's basketball game,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deseret Morning News
Reserve point guard Dee Brown was at the Jazz's practice facility Thursday morning, but did not work out with the team. Brown will travel to Oakland with the club for Friday's Game 3 of Utah's Western Conference semifinal series with Golden State. His status for the game is doubtful, however.

The rookie point guard was diagnosed with a sprained neck and will receive treatment with the team on the road.
From here
  #28  
Old 05-10-2007, 02:17 PM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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A player from the local arena football team had a head on collision with a Daytona player that resulted in the death of the Daytona player.
  #29  
Old 05-10-2007, 07:39 PM
JSexton JSexton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoperChic
Not sure if the WWE fits exactly into the definition of a sport (the company bills itself as sprorts entertainment) but wrestler Owen Hart was actually killed during the lead-in to a match.
There's also Darren "Droz" Drozdov, left a quadraplegic after a botched wrestling move.
  #30  
Old 05-10-2007, 08:01 PM
cwthree cwthree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manduck
Also I guess Christopher Reeve counts - he was injured in a horse jumping competition.
Yes, Christopher Reeve counts. It's a sport, and he was competing.
  #31  
Old 05-10-2007, 08:39 PM
asterion asterion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happywaffle
Used to be a lot worse; the NCAA was founded because of a tremendous number of injuries on college fields. In 1905 alone, 18 college football players *died*, even though there were only a fraction as many actually playing.
Of course, back then they used formations that are banned today, such as the flying wedge.
  #32  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:03 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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There was one in my hometown. A high school lineman participated in a bad hit and was paralyzed from the waist down for life. He was my father's age and sometimes came to our church and other events to speak.
  #33  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:28 PM
sinjin sinjin is offline
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Jill Kinmont, skier injured while trying out for the Olympics. I still remember crying during the TV movie in the 70's.

Her website
  #34  
Old 05-10-2007, 10:50 PM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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Another gymnast - Julissa Gomez. She was paralyzed and suffered brain damage during vaulting warm-ups for a competition in 1988. That accident is a part of the reason that the shape of the vault changed a few years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julissa_Gomez
  #35  
Old 05-10-2007, 10:57 PM
Capa84 Capa84 is offline
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JT Townsend, who was a star on his HS football team here in Jacksonville, was paralyzed from the neck down making a tackle a few years ago. His story is pretty inspirational, as he has managed to enroll in college, and make several other strides when doctors were not even sure he would live

http://www.jttownsend.com/articles.htm
  #36  
Old 05-11-2007, 12:10 AM
Miss Woodhouse Miss Woodhouse is offline
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I remember back in the mid nineties an Idaho State football player was paralyzed from a neck injury. I don't remember his name, though.
  #37  
Old 05-11-2007, 12:55 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario
In the early 80's I was at a football game between Long Beach State and UCLA. A Long Beach defensive player broke his neck in a freak accident and was totally paralyzed. The game was stopped for over an hour while they stabilized him and got him off of the field.

Googling tells me that his name is Todd Hart and that they give out an award at Long Beach state, The Todd Hart Courage Award, every year to one of their athletes. I couldn't find anything about his current condition.
I was at the game too. Todd landed upside-down on his head and I remember the eerieness of watching him not move at all.
  #38  
Old 05-11-2007, 03:48 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huerta88
Chucky Mullins of Ole Miss
Thanks for posting that. Chucky was the first one in my mind, upon reading the OP.
  #39  
Old 05-11-2007, 06:58 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by si_blakely
Rugby Union keeps mucking about with the scrum rules in an attempt to reduce spinal injuries - the most recent change being to the engagement (when the scrums come together).
Yes, the referee now forms them up an arm's length apart and calls "Crouch - Touch - Hold - Engage". They're still allowed to smack into each other from arm's length but the extra step is to measure the distance.

Quote:
There actually seems to be a bit of a code among the front rowers - something that they use to signal difficulties. I read an interview with an Aussie rugby international who gave credit to his opposite number in the scrum during a scare - the Aussie strained his neck and trapped a nerve during a scrum (causing temporary paralysis and a crack in the neck), yelled something - and his All Black oppo stopped pushing, yelled to stop the scrum, and held the guy in position till the collar was on. All was well in the end, but scrums can be rough.

And I seem to recall a Namibian player breaking his neck at a Rugby World Cup match - I guess in 1999.

Si
Yes, the unwritten Code of the Front Row states that if anyone yells "Neck!" the shoving stops instantly.* The official laws also state that if (owing to injury replacement, or whatever) there aren't enough qualified front-rowers to make up the necessary three per side, all scrums are to be uncontested - they form up as normal, but there is no pushing, and the side putting the ball in automatically gets the possession. In lower grades of the game referees have been known to call for uncontested scrums when in their opinion one side is so outclassed that injury becomes likely.


(* It's like the "Man down" code in footie where whichever side has the ball will put it into touch if someone is injured and needs attention, and the other side, when throwing it in again, will return it to the side that previously had possession. Typically this will be a long throw into the opposing half, but with no-one chasing it, so the other side get a free go although deep in their own territory.)
  #40  
Old 05-11-2007, 09:30 AM
MadTheSwine MadTheSwine is offline
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Matt Millen, the Detroit Lions GM, is paralyzed from the neck up,caused by banging his head on the table.
  #41  
Old 05-11-2007, 01:54 PM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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Just want to chime in to say that, in addition to the four pro football players that Dignan cited, two others suffered spinal cord injuries during a game that led to their deaths. Howard Glenn of the New York Titans (before they changed their names to the Jets) broke his neck in a game on October 9, 1960 against the Houston Oilers. He was taken to the locker room, where he died. Stone Johnson, a rookie running back for the Chiefs who had comepted in the 1960 Olympic games as a sprinter, broke his neck in a gmae against the Raiders and died from his injuries 10 days later.

For what it's worth, five NFL players have died of a heart attack suffered during or after a game / practice. I don't think anyone has mentioned Korey Stringer, who died of heatstroke during practice a few years ago.
  #42  
Old 05-11-2007, 02:09 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Bethany Norwood, a cheerleader at Prairie View A&M, was paralyzed in a fall in 2004. She died two years later, probably from complications.
http://www.kvue.com/news/state/stori...b.181b97f.html

She was mostly paralyzed from the neck down, with a bit of arm function regained after serious physical therapy. She'd been preparing to return to school when she died.
  #43  
Old 05-11-2007, 04:22 PM
Huerta88 Huerta88 is offline
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Just remembered this sad if Darwinesque story:

http://www.answers.com/topic/slobodan-jankovi-1
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:46 AM
casdave casdave is offline
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Cycling throws up quite a few, from RTA with fatalities to paralysis.

Paul Crake - Spinal injuries five riders were blown off the road and he was paralysed from the waist down, this was on the 8th stage of NZs Tour of Southland

Roger Riviere - Crashed on a Tour De France stage, went down into a ravine and fractured his spine, paralysed from the waist down.

Cycling is one of the most dangerous sports you can take part in, primarily because it takes place on the roads and clashes with motorised vehicles.It also relies heavily on skill and experience but includes many variables that are not easy to predict, such as changes to road surfaces, weather etc.

Even if you do not get taken out by a vehicle, and I know a few folk who are no longer with us, the risk of a crash whilst riding in a bunch is significant.

Cycling unfortunately ranks as one of the most dangerous sports in terms of injury, only basketball ranks above it and it has far more deaths, probably more than any other sport.

Cycling deaths and injuries are mostly due to lack of experience, club riders show markedly lower accident rates, and these are the ones least likely to wear a crash hat.

This is in the US, once you get to Europe, cycling comes out as very much more dangerous than any other sport in terms of numbers, as basketball isn't all that popular.



The single most dangerous sporting event has to be the Isle of Man motorcycle TT, every single year there are several deaths, some years 10 or 11, others just 4 or 5, occasionally there will be no fatlities.

http://www.motorsportmemorial.org/qu...t_a&n=350,2953

When you start looking at the 'deaths by circuit', you start to realise just how lethal the Isle of Man circuit is, as most other circuits have at most only a handful of fatlities

This is a list of those killed during competition, it does not include marshals, bystanders etc, the full total is not publicised, but the TT fortnight brings in lots of tourism money and is crucial to the island's economy, I can't help but wonder if the difficulty of finding comprehensive lists is connected to that fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man_TT

http://www.dorje.com/~alanf/dharma/b...php?m=20050617
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