Greg Glassman on The OC Throwdown

The OC Throwdown is a fitness competition organized by a company called THE OFFICIAL OCT LLC., owned by a Mr. Darren McGuire. Sadly the OCT is probably best known as the place where in 2014, Kevin Ogar was paralyzed.

While the press has frequently mischaracterized the OCT as a “CrossFit” competition, CrossFit Inc. has no affiliation with the OCT, or Darren McGuire. Like other imitators of the CrossFit Games, the OCT is mistaken as somehow representative of the CrossFit brand. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. See here, and here.

Kevin Ogar himself has pointed out that he was not “doing CrossFit” at the time of his injury and credits CrossFit with helping him recover from his traumatic injury. Currently, there are only two publicly available, low-quality videos of Ogar’s injury.  Many who have watched these speculate that the inventory of weights stacked behind him caused his paralysis.

The 2015 OCT featured this hurdle event, which lead to one participant breaking his back. Video from the event depicts so many dramatic falls that it was featured on the season premier of Tosh.0. Like so many others, the show’s writers refer to the spectacle as “CrossFit.”

In October of 2014, Greg Glassman made the following public statement:

“I have held off from publicly posting about Kevin Ogar and the OCT for a while. Kevin and I were promised a copy of videotape of the event and waited, prepared to pay for a video analysis and reconstruction expert. Whatever lessons there were to be learned, I wanted to share with our community. We had nothing to do with the event, yet Kevin’s injury is consistently attributed to CrossFit, Inc. Our position is that whatever happened, both sponsors and OCT have an obligation to take care of the athletes who participate. HQ has and will continue to stand with Kevin and help him. Those running the OCT should do the same. It’s the right thing to do.”

—Greg Glassman, CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO

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To this day, over a year after Greg Glassman’s initial request, Darren McGuire has refused to release the video of Ogar’s accident. He has also falsely claimed (59:25) that CrossFit HQ did not contact him after the Ogar incident. In response, Greg Glassman has asked us to release the following email exchange:

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Darren McGuire promised to release the video of Ogar’s injury, but still has not done so. McGuire has also tried to cover up his failure to follow through, falsely claiming that CrossFit HQ didn’t contact him after the 2014 OC Throwdown.

Enough is enough. Kevin Ogar deserves the truth.

Kevin Ogar just made the CrossFit L1 Seminar staff this week. Congrats, Kevin!

Kevin Ogar just made the CrossFit L1 Seminar staff this week. Congrats, Kevin!

8 comments

  1. Russle – curious: Under what circumstances does an entity with zero connection to an event have any right to materials which may be considered evidence in a possible trial? In other words, how does CF feel it has any right to see that video?

    • We never claimed we had a right to that video, to suggest we did is a mistake. Greg Glassman requested the video because the transparency of making it public could help prevent future accidents.This is clear from his emails.

      However, I do believe that the OC Throwdown and its organizers have a moral responsibility to provide Kevin Ogar with a copy of that video.

      • Perhaps I should have used the word “entitled”, that is to say, “how on earth does CF believe it is entitled to have a copy of the video?”. You’ve answered my question though, by conceding that CF really has no right nor entitlement to it. However, what is odd is that there is very little in the email exchange above that refers to getting the video into Kevin’s hands, and more about getting it into CF’s hands for the purposes of “preventing possible injuries” at the 2013 CF games. In fact, Glassman confirms as much in his January 29th email about looking in the mirror. Just wants to prevent injury to his athletes so he can sleep.

        It also appears there are emails in the thread that are missing.

      • We have no legal right to the video just as we had no legal responsibility to do anything about this, but we are the global leaders of fitness and we feel that we have a moral responsibility to help educate our community as to how to best prevent injuries of this kind. This is especially true when the competition in question is fully imitative of the CrossFit Games, and many of its participants are CrossFit affiliates. We can’t do this if we don’t have all the information, so the request is perfectly reasonable.

        Also, there is one email missing. Not for any exciting reason, but because it didn’t come through when this thread was forwarded to me.

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  4. It really behoves me as to why so many are harping on CrossFit, and Glassman in particular for requesting to obtain this video. I believe it is safe to say both Darren and Greg, at the outset (just after the accident) were mainly thinking first and foremost about making sure something like this never happening again. I understand the legal reasons, and evidence, but that aside not only does CrossFit, as a fitness methodology, but also an events host, have a responsibility to educate and conduct its own events(which are on a much larger scale) in the safest manner possible. Especially with the proximity to the 2014 games.
    I find absolutely no fault in requesting that video. If anything the logical progression may have included Darren’s legal council drawing up some sort of confidentiality agreement, or embargo on publication. That way the video would remain private for the legal reasons, but provide adequate education and insight to CrossFit HQ so they could help inform the greater community, as Russell said, on best practices as the global leader in fitness.

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