RIGA, N.Y. (AP) — Olympic pole vault champion and Fredonia native Jenn Suhr was injured when her pole snapped during a practice session, putting the rest of her season in jeopardy, her husband and coach said.
The 32-year-old Suhr was working out at her home in Riga, outside Rochester, on Wednesday when her pole shattered halfway into her ascent while she was attempting to clear 15 feet. She slammed into the protective padding and sustained injuries to her left wrist and hand, ribs, neck and left shoulder.
Her husband, Rick Suhr, posted video of the accident on his wife’s Twitter account Thursday with the message: “Jenn got hurt on this one.”
X-rays revealed no broken bones, according to The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester.
“It was hard to watch as a coach, and even harder to watch as a husband,” Rick Suhr told the newspaper.
He did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.
Suhr won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and plans to defend her title at the Rio Summer Games in 2016. The injuries likely will keep her from competing in London, England on Aug. 24; Zurich, Switzerland on Aug. 28 and Morocco in early September, Rick Suhr said.
“This is going to cost us time and money, but it’s all about Rio,” he said.
Jenn Suhr’s pole snapped one other time, during training about a month before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she won silver.
“That time she was up right away and she kept jumping,” Rick Suhr said.
“The sport looks glamorous and smooth, and it is,” he said, “but when you have equipment failure, you see the danger and the violence.”