Patrick Vellner Bruised His Lung During O-Course Fall

Patrick Vellner deadlifts 595 pounds during the CrossFit Total at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
Patrick Vellner deadlifts 595 pounds during the CrossFit Total at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

If you were not watching live, you have probably seen it by now. During the O-Course portion of The Battleground, Patrick Vellner fell off the cargo net and landed hard on the sand. His shoulder and upper body took the brunt of the impact.

Vellner’s fall was just moments after Mat Fraser fell on the same obstacle. Both athletes got back on their feet and finished the event. Fraser would take 2nd while Vellner would finish 4th.

Prior to the start of the Clean & Jerk Speed Ladder the commentators made quick mention that Vellner went to the hospital for observation following the fall. However, it seems as though it was much more serious.

The 2018 CrossFit Games - Individual The Battleground. For full event details...

According to Vellner, his fall resulted in him coughing up blood. Once he crossed the finish line and the medical staff for evaluation. They took him to the hospital and he had a CT scan where they diagnosed Vellner with a bruised left lung.

The CrossFit Games medical staff discussed the injury with Vellner and it was determined he was allowed to conditionally compete, similar to when he tore his bicep at Regionals in 2016.

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Favorite Moment #3: Battlegrounds Blunder. Yes, I’ve seen all of the Internet remixes of our fall. I must admit, they are hilarious since @mathewfras and I are both ok. The internet is a magical place. This is another moment that on the surface might not seem like a great one, but stick with me. I made A mistake on the cargo net, my hands ended up dangerously close to the black line (which means a no rep) and I had to scramble a bit coming over the top to stay in bounds. I ended up in an awkward position and i hooked my heel when I went to drop off the net. I fell really hard and winded myself pretty good. In the moment I was focused on just finishing the event and feeling sorry for myself later. I had some sand and blood in my mouth which made the run back delightful. When I hit the finish I rinsed my mouth to find out where the blood was coming from and found it was only there when i coughed. Bad sign. I was swooped up by the medical team and spent the next hour being assessed and continued to cough up some blood so I was taken to the hospital for a CT scan. The results came back that I had bruised my left lung in the fall. Bummer. I had a lengthy discussion with the medical staff. They are amazing and no one wants to cut our competition short but our safety is their concern. I was allowed to conditionally compete, a similar situation to 2016 after tearing my bicep. At best my lung capacity is a bit reduced and I’m sore, at worse the bleeding continues and high exertion causes more damage. Bottom line was if they saw any more blood I was out. This made me really appreciate every bit of time I spent on the competition floor from then on. It’s a privilege to compete at the games and we often get caught up and forget to appreciate it for what it is. This event really changed my outlook on the competition and made me take it one event at a time. It was oddly calming. In the end I survived, and I’m proud to be an example of resiliency if nothing else. No more blood, I’m still a little sore and haven’t exercised since the games. I’ll get to it. I’m gonna try to spend less time with the medical team next year. 🤷🏼‍♂️ #medical #realMVP #battlegrounds #crossfitgames

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Of course we all know Vellner was able to make it through the entire competition. On top of that Vellner would take 2nd place overall.