Some of the most common injuries related to springboard diving accidents in America come from long term diving and the impact of the water that affects the neck, spine, and wrists. Changes in the way competitive divers hold their hands when they enter the water can either cause or help prevent strain on the wrists. Divers have risks of springboard accidents with the possibility of hitting their head or face on the springboard which can cause damage to soft tissue or lacerations. Repetitious entry into the water and the acrobatic nature of the sport can cause strain to the spine and chronic back pain in later years. Here are some of the worst springboard diving accidents that have happened to American athletes and celebrities.
- Greg Louganis. One of the most famous Springboard Diving Accidents in America occurred at the 1988 Seoul Olympics when Greg Louganis was executing a 2 ½ reverse somersault from the 3m board and he hit his head while diving. Greg Louganis had some temporary sutures applied and went on to win the gold medal in the competition, then went on to the hospital to receive five stitches. In 1995, Greg Louganis announced on national television that he was HIV positive at the time of the accident and discussed the concerns he had at that time about endangering others with Barbara Walters.
- Greg Ferrucci. In April 2006 at the U.S. Open Diving Platform, a springboard diving accident occurred with 15 year old Greg Ferrucci as he dived off of a 3m springboard and hit his head on the board. His coach dived in after him and Ferrucci was pulled from the water convulsing. He was hospitalized for a serious concussion and a fractured skull and had to take a full year off to recover from his injuries. He went on to dive for KU on a scholarship that was offered to him by his former coach after he called him for a job reference.
- Dr. Charles Krauthammer. Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Dr. Charles Krauthammer is limited to using a wheelchair for mobility since his freshman year at Harvard due to a springboard diving accident. Dr. Krauthammer hit his head on the bottom of the pool after diving off the board, sustaining a life changing injury of paralysis. He went on to complete his medical training and became the head of a prominent psychiatric facility, then became a writer and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and many other distinctive awards for his writing.
- Brooke Burns. 33 year old model and former star of the popular Baywatch television series, Brooke Burns broke a bone in her neck during a springboard diving accident. She was diving off the springboard at her home’s pool when she hit her head at the bottom of the pool. A friend who was a fireman paramedic properly rescued her from the pool and Brooke Burns underwent a surgery that resulted in a rod in her neck with ten screws and a bruised spinal cord that could have left her paralyzed. Brooke Burns recovered from her injuries and now helps support the North American Spine Association with raising diving springboard safety awareness.
- Chelsea Davis. At her first International meet during the World Swimming Championship in 2005, Chelsea Davis was also executing a 2 ½ inward somersault dive when her face slammed into the diving board and she broke her nose in ten places. She also sprained her back and fractured her cheek as a result of the springboard diving accident. It took Chelsea Davis six weeks to recovery and an additional amount of time to get back to diving. Chelsea went on to win the 2008 NCAA Championship for Ohio State on the 3m dive.