Track and Field is not generally viewed as a dangerous sport, but every once in a while crazy things happen. That was the case a few weeks ago at the Robison Invitational when BYU's Katy Andrews was competing in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase and got tripped up while attempting to jump the water barrier. She went head over heels into the water pit, hitting her head and bruising up pretty much everything else. I just happened to be there with a GoPro HD Hero 2 waterproof camera shooting video for a review I'm writing of the camera, and it caught the whole crash in High Def.
I was also shooting stills with my Canon 1D Mark IV at ten frames a second, and I love how the still images give you a different perspective on the crash.
I wasn't going to share these photos and videos because I didn't want to embarrass Katy, but a couple of days later I saw this video that Katy posted a video of the crash on her Youtube page which was shot on a cell phone:
The video went viral immediately. She had over 100,000 views in one day. I contacted her and showed her the GoPro video and my photos and she loved them. She gave me permission to post them on Youtube, and since then things have been crazy. She told me that she's been getting a lot of calls from newspapers and television news stations interested in telling the story. She even made ESPN Sportscenter's Not Top 10 Plays in the number two slot. Her story was featured on Yahoo, Wired, The Huffington Post, Flotrack and Deadspin.
Two weeks later and her video is closing in on 400,000 views and ours it at 350,000. I think that the best part of this experience has been the feedback that we've gotten. People tell us that they are really proud of Katy for 3 main reasons:
1. She took a brutal hit, got up and kept on going.
2. She was smiling at herself even before she got out of the pit.
3. She was the one who uploaded the video, which shows what a great attitude about the whole experience.
Most importantly, she is feeling better and should be back out on the track soon. Katy Andrews is now officially the toughest athlete I know.
All photos and video © Copyright Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo 2012
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