Have you ever suffered a sporting injury? Chin up – it can’t be as bad as some of these. Read on to find out about five of the worst sports accidents of all time – and how the affected stars went on to become a success despite them.
So we all know playing sport is generally good for you, but couch potatoes will be pleased to hear there’s a hazardous side to all this activity as well. Check out our rundown of some of the world’s worst ever sporting injuries. Just make sure you’ve finished your lunch.
- During a game for Villanova University in 2006, American basketball star Allan Ray got more than he bargained for in a semi-final game against Pittsburgh. Scrabbling for the ball, his head made contact with an opponent’s finger, inadvertently digging his eye slightly out its socket.
This allowed Ray’s eyelid to slide behind his eyeball, giving the effect of his eye literally popping out in cartoonesque style. Luckily, there was only soft tissue damage and the sports star’s vision returned. Ray went on to play briefly for the NBA before moving to Europe, where he currently plays for German team ratiopharm Ulm.
- Pro wrestler Sid Vicious sustained one of the sport’s worst injuries so far when he jumped off a rope towards an opponent’s face (serves him right) and instead, hit the canvas at an awkward angle, cracking his left leg in half. His shin bent to a 90 degree angle, causing the bone to…gulp…pierce through his skin.
The American went on to make a number of appearances during his rehabilitation. He made a full return to active wrestling in 2004 and has since continued to make a number of special appearances in matches across the world.
- Bad luck has hounded former American football line-backer Chris Spielman. After a successful season in 1996 when he set a personal and team record for the Buffalo Bills with 206 tackles, he suffered a series of neck injuries which led to surgery. After taking some time off to help his wife battle against Cancer, Spielman returning to the NFL in 1999, just to suffer another neck injury (time to make a spinal injury claim).
Luckily, things started to improve for Chris, who went on to coach and, in 2008, was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame. He now works as an analyst covering college football games for sports channel ESPN.
- Clint Malarchuk, a professional ice hockey goalkeeper from Canada, survived a life-threatening accident which is now known as one of professional sports most gruesome injuries.
During a 1989 NHL game for the Buffalo Sabres, an opponent’s skate blade slashed his jugular vein during a chase for the puck. Horror movie style scenes unfolded as blood poured from Malarchuk’s throat and spread over the white ice, causing 11 fans to faint, two to suffer heart attacks and three players to vomit on the ice.
The team’s trainer, a former army medic, managed to act fast and save his life by blocking the blood flow, before doctors closed the wound with 300 stitches. It is said that, had the incident happened at the other end of the ice away from the exit to the locker rooms, the goalkeeper would not have survived.
Malarchuk went on to return to the game in the International Hockey League years later and now works as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames.
- Perhaps a new contender for the worst sports accident ever, Kevin Ware, a professional basketball player, recently befell a gruesome injury when he landed badly on his right leg during a game between Louisville and Duke.
The 20 year old’s tibia ripped clean through the skin, leaving his bone exposed at a 90 degree angle to his leg, much to the horror of onlookers. Kevin reportedly told his teammates to get on with winning the game as he was rushed to hospital. Louisville dug deep to take the trophy and, after a successful surgery, Kevin is confident he’ll be back on the court next season.
What’s the worst sporting injury you’ve ever seen?
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Catherine Halsey is an outgoing sports enthusiast who has thankfully never experienced any of the injuries mentioned in this post.
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