olympics header image

PHOTO/VIDEO: Pole vaulter's pole snaps mid-vault

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer
Cuba's Lazaro Borges' equipment failed him on the way up to the bar. (Getty Images)

One of the scariest scenarios possible played out on the field today at the Olympics. When watching pole vaulting, one can help but wonder how those gigantic bows don't give way to pressure and physics. It looks like an optical illusion, how something so heavy, firm straight can become so willingly parabolic.

But, occasionally, the physics break bad. Rarely is it at the Olympics, but that's what happened Wednesday to Cuban pole vaulter Lazaro Borges. After planting his pole into the pit and beginning his ascent, the wood gave way, snapped like an aged twig and sent Borges feet over head into the mat. He landed awkwardly but thankfully was OK.

Here's the accident in real-time. He just barely gets enough momentum to put him on the cushion. Wow. You can hear the stadium suck up in a scare real quick, too.

And here's the slow-mo replay, which is certainly some sort of gnarly.

Borges got himself a new pole, climbed again, and cleared 5.50 meters -- just shy of qualifying for Friday's finals.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre

olympics Video

August 14, 2015
Will Kobe play for Team USA? (2:06)
August 13, 2015
LeBron's Team USA status
August 6, 2015
Michael Phelps vows not to drink until after the 2016 Olympics
July 27, 2015
2024 Summer Olympics: USOC drops Boston's bid


Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's Nike Scarlet Ohio State Buckeyes No. 15 Limited Football Jersey

College Sideline Gear
Get your favorite school
Shop Now