MARLBORO (CBS) – A quick-acting gymnastics coach saved a team member from suffering a potentially serious injury over the weekend at a meet in Springfield.
Cal Booker of New England Academy of Gymnastics in Marlboro was spotting a 13-year-old boy named Noah Viera on the high bar during warm-ups before a national invitational event on Saturday.
Noah’s hands slipped from the bar and he went airborne.
“The high bar is nine feet and as he’s swinging around it adds another two feet. If he lands on his head that could be catastrophic,” Booker said.
Booker moved underneath the boy and caught him before he hit the ground.
“All I was trying to do was flip over and land on my back not on my neck. Landing on my back is way better than landing on my neck,” Viera said.
Though Noah would have landed on a mat, Booker said he still could have been seriously hurt because the gymnast would have likely landed on his head.
“When I first jumped I felt the grip was a little slippery. If he wasn’t there I would have been in trouble, you have to trust your coaches,” Viera said.
The fall was caught on video by Noah’s mother, who said she was nervous as it happened, but was happy it turned out OK.
She told CBS This Morning that her son went on to record his best high bar score of the year following the scare.
“The right place at the right time. Luckily I got underneath him and luckily he’s a good enough athlete to know how to turn over,” Booker said.