The fine line between brilliance and disaster is present in most sporting events, but pole vaulting presents a very particular brand of chaos should you mess up your jump.

A college pole vaulter in the US experienced the cruel side of the ancient athletics event this week, captured on video for the world to see.

Zach McWhorter, a 21-year-old student at Brigham Young University, unfortunately tore open his scrotum after the pole drove into his groin over the bar.

That one time the pole went through my nuts... 18 stitches! #fail #polevault #athletics #trackandfield #ouch

"That one time the pole went through my n**s… 18 stitches later… RIP to my future kids," McWhorter posted on TikTok.


The video has been viewed over 17 million times on the social media app with over 35,000 comments.

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The budding athlete was lucky to have his dad on hand, who is reportedly a urologist.

"I could see right into my scrotum," McWhorter told BuzzFeed.

"Immediately after the incident, we got in his car and drove to the hospital and he sewed me up.

"Fortunately, as far as I know, there is nothing wrong with my testicles – just a scar. One day, we'll find out if they function or not."

Whenever the topic of pole vaults arises, this writer casts his mind back to the 2016 Olympics, where one of the greatest mid-event betrayals took place as Japanese pole vaulter Hiroki Ogita knocked the bar with his member.

Truly, a moment for the history books.