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Out Gay World Champion Gymnast Kalon Ludvigson Paralyzed: VIDEO


Back in August, out gay gymnast Kalon Ludvigson, America's most decorated Trampoline & Tumbling athlete in history, suffered a serious injury while training at a gymnastic camp for kids in Pennsylvania that left him paralyzed from the elbow and chest down. From USA Gymnastics:

Ludvigson, who sustained a cervical spine injury during training on August 6, dislocated his C5 vertebrae at C6, causing spinal cord compression. This spinal cord compression and stretch injury has left him with multiple neurologic symptoms, many of which have shown improvement to this point. He has movement of his upper extremities, as well as improving sensation of upper and lower extremities. Ludvigson is still challenged without movement to his lower extremities, and therapy continues with the goal to further improve his fine motor skills of his upper extremities.

IncompA gymnastics wunderkind, Kalon first joined the US gymnastics team nine years ago at 16, becoming the youngest member on the team. He holds 20 World Cup and World Championships Medals and set the World Record for Difficulty in 2008 and 2011.

In September, Kalon was moved to Craig Hospital, a rehabilitation center in Englewood, Colorado that specializes in treating patients with spinal injuries. After two surgeries he has shown signs of improvement and has "begun feeling his toes, feet and legs, but he has not regained movement as of yet." While the future is uncertain for Kalon, his friends, family and supporters remain hopeful:

"We realize Kalon's friends and teammates want to know his long- and short-term prognosis," said Dr. George Drew, USA Gymnastics trampoline and tumbling team physician. "These types of injuries are extremely variable, both in the amount of recovery and the time required to do so. Kalon is in excellent physical condition and is blessed with the support of his friends and family to take this recovery to its best possible result. We are all very happy he is at Craig Hospital, one of the foremost spinal injury recovery centers in the USA."

Said Kalon's coach and husband Justen Millerbernd (pictured below) of Kalon's recovery:

Couple"Kalon is improving on a daily basis...but no major breakthroughs have happened yet. There is still a lot of time for even a small change to happen. Kalon is working hard and pushing through obstacles every day."

Kalon himself spoke out, thanking his supporters for their encouragement:

"I want to thank everyone for the love and support they have shown during this difficult time," said Ludvigson. "The messages, thoughts and prayers mean so much and is so appreciated."

Unfortunately, Kalon has had to battle not just his injury but also his insurance. For that reason Millerbernd has created a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for his husband's recovery. You can contribute to help Kalon HERE.

You can also watch a news report about Kalon's injury AFTER THE JUMP...

(Photos via Facebook)

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  1. OMG you poor soul! I wish you the best!!!

    Posted by: litper | Oct 30, 2013 3:21:09 PM

  2. What a tragic accident, especially considering his career. But its a good sign he can feel his toes and fingers. Hopefully he will regain use of at least his hands. They are doing wonders today with paralysis surgeries.

    Its interesting that the USA Gymnastics article identifies Millerbernd as Kalon's coach but not his husband. In the grand scheme of this story, its not that important but it is just an example of internalized homophobia. If Kalon was married to his female coach, it definitely would have been mentioned. Its noticible especially since Kalon mentions his marriage directly in his facebook profile.

    Posted by: KT | Oct 30, 2013 3:32:59 PM

  3. Oh dear. Tragic. I can only wish him the best.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Oct 30, 2013 3:44:06 PM

  4. sending some positive energy to you.

    Posted by: Tom | Oct 30, 2013 3:44:30 PM

  5. Im so sorry to hear that. I wish he and his partner the best on his recovery.

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 30, 2013 3:49:09 PM

  6. wow .. that's beyond tragic news .. what a beautiful young man . I am a bit speechless here

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Oct 30, 2013 4:00:33 PM

  7. I hope his dedication and hard work carries him through full recovery.

    Posted by: acorlando | Oct 30, 2013 4:11:33 PM

  8. Sweet guy, I wish him well and love knowing that his coach is also his husband, which makes it an even more remarkable story.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 30, 2013 4:17:47 PM

  9. This is the PERFECT situation to parade in front of whatever insurance company he uses and shame them as a national disgrace. A world class athlete who represented this nation in sports, and he has to fight for his insurance?! Unbelievable.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Oct 30, 2013 5:22:19 PM

  10. Paralyzed people require a tremendous amount of care, and their medical costs are huge. I know from personal experience. Very tragic, and I hope all the best for him, his husband, family, close friends. They will all experience a roller coaster emotional and psychological ride almost as bad as his physical injuries.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 30, 2013 5:59:44 PM


    And we note how the TV station, which is owned by the lds church (the morholes) showed a photo in which the husband appears, but conducted the interview with the sister, not the husband.

    Posted by: Bob | Oct 30, 2013 6:27:11 PM

  12. It sickens me how religious homophobes try to erase his husband even in that situation. It's below lowest of lows... If that is what God supports, than maybe Satan is not that bad?

    Posted by: litper | Oct 30, 2013 6:55:25 PM

  13. the Rehab that Gabby Gifford went to, worked miracles for her, He needs such a miracle too.

    Posted by: Grego | Oct 30, 2013 7:12:46 PM

  14. I wish him all the best in his recovery, and seeing him moving through this to a much better physical place ... works! I've enjoyed watching him in competition, his 'upbeat' way of being very obvious.

    Posted by: RexT | Oct 30, 2013 7:28:07 PM

  15. Very sad. I wish him all the best for his recovery. With so many serious injuries happening to gymnasts, I think perhaps they should consider banning the sport.

    Posted by: fern | Oct 30, 2013 9:11:45 PM

  16. Uuugh.. so horrible and sad. Wishing him peace and patience through his long recovery process.

    Posted by: greg | Oct 30, 2013 9:21:52 PM

  17. very sad. i hope he continues to work with children

    Posted by: Reality | Oct 30, 2013 9:30:07 PM

  18. Who is the insurance carrier? As insurance costs skyrocket, and they always find ways to get out of covering claims at the worst possible time in people's lives. We need to target these companies, and taunt and drag them out into the public eye. I'm sick of this.

    Posted by: idiotstick | Oct 30, 2013 9:49:27 PM

  19. I'm making a donation to his GoFundMe campaign. I encourage others who can to do the same.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 30, 2013 10:52:27 PM

  20. I'm making a donation, but I want to know more about why his insurance is a problem. Was he underinsured? Did he have a "bad apple" insurance policy (inadequate coverage)? I hope he signs up for Obamacare ASAP.

    Posted by: Jeff Atwood | Oct 31, 2013 4:40:38 AM

  21. Yikes, what a tragedy. Luckily I got a thing for dudes in wheelchairs.

    Posted by: Quicksilver | Oct 31, 2013 7:37:40 AM

  22. Yikes, what a tragedy. Luckily I got a thing for dudes in wheelchairs.

    Posted by: Quicksilver | Oct 31, 2013 7:37:40 AM

  23. The fact that this is a cord compression injury is much to the good--as seems to be borne out by the return of feeling to his lower extremities.

    The rehab course will be long, but he and his husband have considerable grounds for hope - even optimism. What a!

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Oct 31, 2013 8:32:06 AM

  24. We're all proud of you Kalon. This too shall pass - you're on a different (but parallel) road now. All success and growth to you man - you're gonna make it!

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 31, 2013 9:38:04 AM

  25. Lord, what a terrible thing to happen to this fine athlete. Best wishes to him, his husband, his family. I pray that Kalon will have a successful recovery to 100%.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 31, 2013 10:15:50 AM

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