Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Fitness & Exercise

Update on CrossFit athlete's severed spine injury: Donations hit $500,000

See also

Kevin Ogar, the CrossFit trainer who suffered a severed spine injury in January 2014, is doing well and is moved by the support he has received from around the world, he told NBC News.

More Photos

Ogar, 28, is now paralyzed from the waist down after undergoing two spinal surgeries. He was shocked to discover that while he was hospitalized, CrossFit enthusiasts from around the world donated $500,000 to help pay for his mounting medical bills.

The donations came from complete strangers in Germany, Latin America, Spain, Japan, the United States and Australia.

"I had so many kind words sent to me," said Kevin. "They really make a difference in the day-to-day struggle of staying positive. It's still something I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around — that there are that many people out there so giving and caring for someone they don't know."

Ogar, once a top-level CrossFit athlete, was performing a routine powerlift at a CrossFit competition in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Jan. 12 when he abruptly lost his balance and fell backward.

The massive weights fell onto the floor, bounced against another set of weights, and hit Ogar in the back, severing his spine. The once-athletic 6-foot-1, 210-pound Kevin has undergone two surgeries, and had screws and rods implanted in his back. He now undergoes six to seven hours a day of physical therapy.

At the time he was injured, Kevin had been training to compete at the 2014 CrossFit Games, which reigning champ Rich Froning has won for the past three years. Ogar is aware he may never walk again, but said he doesn't spend too much time thinking about that, preferring to focus on day-to-day progress.

"Would I like it to happen? Yeah," said Kevin. "I would love to be able to walk a little bit on my own again, but my legs are not what defined me as a person, so if I never get any sensation back or walk again, it's not going to change who am or what I can do for others."



  • Johnny Manziel
    Should Johnny Manziel apologize for his hard partying over the offseason?
    Today's Buzz
  • Crop circles
    Similar crop circles appeared in Germany and England within days of each other
    19 Photos
  • Advanced placement
    The AP program is gaining traction as a key component in college admissions
    5 Photos
  • Beach hats
    Beat the heat with the best summer beach hats for women
    Beach Hats
  • Expectations for ministry
    Pastor preaches to newly ordained ministers about expectations for ministry
    6 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    6 Photos