Kitchener athlete recovering from Oktoberfest strongman accident
Published Monday, October 8, 2012 6:44PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 8, 2012 6:59PM EDT
Craig Bongelli has plenty to be thankful for this holiday weekend.
The Kitchener strongman athlete is recovering after a 360 pound boulder fell on his chest during an Oktoberfest strongman competition. The 22 year-old was just about to hoist the fourth and final boulder in the atlas stones event when things went wrong.
Bongelli said before blacking out from the strain of lifting the boulder, he knew something was not right.
“I felt super uncomfortable, I knew everything was straining to a fairly large degree,” said Bongelli. “But all I was thinking in my head was that I could feel the ledge. And the only thing I was thinking was one more inch.”
Bongelli’s girlfriend and coach Alyssa Coppolino was in the crowd and panicked when she saw him go down.
“I just didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know if I wanted to be beside him, I was like if he’s dead, heaven forbid, I don’t really want to be next to him necessarily.” said Coppolino.
While the injuries could have been severe or even fatal, Bongelli says he managed to get by with only a few scratches and some bruising.
Despite the accident, Bongelli finished fourth in the atlas stones event and tied for third place overall in the competition.