Being an athlete is tough business and the risk of injury is just part of the job. However, Brigham Young University pole vaulter Zach McWhorter got the extreme end of that recently when he ripped his testicles during a recent outing, requiring 18 stitches. Even worse, the whole thing was caught on video and posted on TikTok for all the world to see.
- It started off well enough. McWhorter’s coach thought he was capturing a standard pole vaulting attempt from the athlete, and McWhorter did indeed clear the pole successfully. However, on the way down, things went drastically wrong.
- The pole caught McWhorter in the crotch. The 21-year-old seemed to be in the clear, but it quickly became apparent that wasn’t the case. The pole ripped through his shorts AND his testicles, causing some pretty intense injuries as he fell to the mat below.
- Thankfully, his dad was on hand to get him help. “Immediately after the incident, we got in his car and drove to the hospital and he sewed me up. It required 18 stitches!” McWhorter told Buzzfeed. “I could see right into my scrotum. Fortunately, as far as I know, there is nothing wrong with my testicles – just a scar. One day, we’ll find out if they function or not.”
- McWhorter hopes other pole vaulters will take necessary precautions. He advised others in the sport not to “free ball” and instead to ensure they’re wearing Spandex when practicing the sport to hopefully avoid having their own testicles ripped in a similar fashion. He also mentioned that there should always be a cap on the end of the pole, something he failed to do and learned a lesson from the hard way.
- Thankfully, he’ll make a full recovery. McWhorter hasn’t said how long it will be before he’s able to get back to the pole vaulting, but hopefully he’ll be back on his feet with fully healed testicles soon!