When sporting celebrations go bad

Aidan Walsh's post fight celebrations on Friday may have brought a premature end to his Olympic Games but he is not the first sports star who has let their emotions get the better of them. 
When sporting celebrations go bad

Thomas Levet fractured his shin after celebrating winning the 2011 French Open with a jump in a lake  

Golfer Thomas Levet celebrated winning the 2011 French Open - his national championship - by jumping into the lake on the 18th green - and fracturing his shin!

Adding insult to ahem injury, it cost him a place at the Open.

"I am extremely disappointed to miss out on the Open," said Levet, who was runner-up to Ernie Els iin 2003 after a five-hole play-off.

"I will have screws and a plate inserted which will ensure that my shin recovers completely.

"I will be off for six weeks, which is very bad timing with so many important tournaments coming up.

"However, the wonderful memory of winning my national Open will definitely keep me going through my recovery."

Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup-winning captain Colin Montgomerie was unimpressed to say the least.

"I think it is the silliest thing that players have done over the years," he told reporters at the Scottish Open.

"I have always been suspect about people diving into lakes, not knowing how deep they are and what is in there.

"There could be something sharp. He was lucky it was only a leg injury. It is not the way to celebrate - taking the next three months off because you've hurt yourself."


HAMBURG'S Nicolai Mueller tore a cruciate ligament in his right knee while celebrating a goal against Augsburg in 2017. He was ruled out for six months.

Mueller attempted what was described as “a pirouette” before falling to the ground in agony. The club’s sporting director Jens Todt said: “The diagnosis is a huge shock for us, a big blow for the start of the season and of course extremely bitter for Nicolai. We wish him a good recovery and will help him with that as well as we can.” 


CHICAGO Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston tore his ACL while celebrating a sack in a blowout loss to the New England Patriots. I probably shouldn't have celebrated like that, but it happens," Houston said after the game.

His General Manager Phil Emery was clearly unimpressed by the big man’s antics: "He knows he made an error, he's come into all of our offices and apologized for his error. But ultimately the team paid a price, and at the end of the day Lamarr paid a bigger price, he lost the season. So, enough said."


DETRIOT Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch also suffered a torn ACL while celebrating a sack against the Green Bay Packers. But he saw no reason to apologies for his antics. "Unfortunately, I got up in celebration and it happened," Tulloch said. "But I ain't embarrassed by nothing. We all celebrate when we make a play."


LEGENDARY skier Lindsey Vonn required tendon surgery to her right thumb after slicing herself on a broken champagne bottle while celebrating a world championship win.

A report in the LA Times gave the gory details: “Vonn's problems began when she couldn't open the champagne bottle because the cork broke. Someone used a ski to extract the remaining piece of cork, breaking the bottle in the process. Vonn didn't realize what had happened and grabbed the damaged bottle as the champagne flowed.” ************************* 

THE most painful celebration-induced injury centres around a Swiss Super League game in 2004.

Uefa.com provides the gory details: “Servette FC midfield player Paulo Diogo had to have his finger amputated after a weekend goal celebration turned into a horrific accident. The 29-year-old jumped on to the perimeter fencing to celebrate the third goal in a 4-1 victory against Schaffhausen only to fail to notice that his wedding ring and finger were trapped in it as he jumped off. The Portuguese-Swiss was booked for his excessive celebration before realising that part of his finger was missing. Diogo ran to the dressing room while officials searched for the digit and although it was found, the finger could not be sewn back on and doctors were forced to amputate the remaining stub.” 


IN 1997 Chelsea's Nigerian defender Celestine Babayaro broke his leg after performing a post-goal backward somersault on his debut in a pre-season match against Stevenage Borough. The injury meant he did not make his first-team debut until the following October against Slovan Bratislava in the European Cup Winners' Cup.


 Bill Gramatica
 Bill Gramatica


 Bill Gramatica of the Arizona Cardinals sealed his place in infamy 20 years ago.

In December 2001, the Arizona Cardinals rookie landed a 43-yard field goal against the Giants. In the ensuing celebration, he jumped in the air, then came down awkwardly on his right leg tearing his ACL! His season was over. 

“My jump was excellent,” he recalled. “It was my landing I needed to work on. It was funny. It was part of my career. I talk about it all the time. You have to laugh about it.”

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