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Gymnast Falls On Uneven Bars, Gets Pushed To Safety

A gymnast’s fall from the uneven bars could have caused serious injury. Here’s why it didn’t.

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The coach complimented me on the great practice I was having at the gym. I went from one event to the next, running through gymnastics routines I wanted to master for competition.

When I got to the uneven bars I was tired and sweaty. But I was still determined to attempt the dismount I’d been practicing in the pit, a rectangle filled with foam that provided a soft landing. This time I was psyched to try it on the mats. “Dear God,” I prayed as I climbed up on the bar, “please keep me safe. Amen.

Hanging by my hands, body extended, I swung once around the bar, placed my feet outside my chalked hands and snapped into the air, flipping forward—But I’d released too early. I didn’t have the height to complete a flip and land on my feet. Suddenly, in mid arc, I felt my coach push me so that the upper part of my body landed safely on the mat. The rest of me crashed down on the thin layer of carpet that covered the cement floor.

While Coach iced my back, I remembered my prayer. Why hadn’t God helped me as I’d asked?

The pain was excruciating. My fall would probably keep me out of gymnastics for a while, but I realized that I could have been paralyzed if my head and neck hadn’t landed on the mat. I thanked my coach for the push that had saved me.

He looked at me, puzzled. “Krissy,” he said, “you flew off that bar so fast, no one had time to get anywhere near you.”

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