USA's Chelsea Davis hits her head on the board during a preliminary round in the women's three-meter springboard diving competition at the World Aquatics Championships Friday, July 22, 2005 in Montreal. Davis required stitches after hitting her head. (AP Photo/Ryan Remiorz)
Friday afternoon, I printed out my My Yahoo! page so I could have a complete set of the movie listings for middle Tennessee (the Tennesseean does not include theaters in Rutherford County). As I was looking over the start times for Fantastic Four and the other shows, I kept seeing this picture as tiny black and white thumbnail. I kept wondering--what is this picture and why is it one of the top three photos on Yahoo?
Then, I saw the story about it on SportsCenter...complete with video footage of Chelsea Davis hitting her head on the board. The good news is--she's OK. She had to have stitches, but it appears that, so far, she's OK. But it's scary footage to watch...
It got me thinking about the one time I've seen someone hit their head on the board and it was much more serious. In high school, I spent some time in the summer at the local pool. I knew some of the lifeguards from classes and so got to be on freindly terms with them. There was one guy who came daily that they cuased them all kinds of fits and required extra attention. He was a full grown adult, but I think he was mentally retarded. He'd come in and not realize that he was bigger than everyone else or he'd do stuff like change into his swimsuit on the pool deck (as in he took off all his street clothes and then put on his trunks). When he was in the pool--esp. the diving area--they had to keep an extra eye on him.
In the diving area, he liked to go out to the end of the board and do a flip. He'd get extremely close to the board as he'd go into the water. One day, during adult swim (which we need to bring back if only becuase I waited 18 years to participate in it!), he was on the boards. I was sitting on a deck chair and looked up as he went out onto the board. He turned around, sprung into the air, twisted and was coming down. I swear, it was one of those time slows down moments...I saw him coming down and realized--he's not gonna clear the end of the board. His body barely did and I was ready to breath a sigh of relief when I heard a loud thud! His head twisted backward and he went into the water. There was a dead silence. For what seemed like an enternity, he didn't come up...and then suddenly the guards are in the pool, getting him to the surface and taking care of him.
It's one of those moments that is just etched in my memory...it's scary and frightening. It's one reason I am not a huge fan of doing flips off the diving board myself and why when I do use a diving board (I've noticed a lot more pools don't have them these days...) I always make sure to try and launch myself as far out from the board as possible.
The good news is--the guy was OK. He was back a few days later when an ugly cut on his head but otherwise OK.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/24/2005 01:21:00 PM