Japanese Olympic pole vaulter Hiroki Ogita has become (in)famous for a now viral GIF showing his package painfully hitting the bar as he completes his vault (above). His pained expression on the way down says it all — pole vaulting is a dangerous sport!
It’s no surprise really: vaulters launch themselves 15 to 20 feet into the air at a speed of about 22 miles per hour without a safety net, and the pole can be just as dangerous as the vault itself.
Ogita is hardly the first pole vaulter to suffer for his sport. In fact, we found eight more athletes who’ve bitten it while trying to clear the bar. They show just how skilled (or bonkers) you have to be to compete in this sport.
Some say that pole vaulters can make upwards of $100,000 if they compete well at various meets, but they should also get danger pay — y’know, because ice packs and Tylenol cost money… damn!