German weightlifter Matthias Steiner nearly had one of the worst injuries imaginable during Tuesday’s snatch competition. (For those who unaware, the snatch is a weightlifting discipline, not… well, it’s weightlifting, OK?)
The defending Olympic champion was attempting to lift 432 pounds when his strength gave out and the bar fell from above his head to the back of his neck.
It turns out that everyone in attendance was very fortunate that weightlifters don’t really have necks. After sitting for a few stunned moments wondering whether they had just witnessed a guy paralyzing himself, the crowd was greatly relieved to see Steiner helped up by medical staff before walking off the mat on his own power.
Video after the jump.
Obviously Steiner was unable to go back out there to defend his gold medal, but somehow walking away after 432 pounds falls on your neck comes off as an even more impressive accomplishment to brag about.