A newspaper photographer at a U.S. high school track championship meet who was looking through his lense when he should have been looking around was speared through the leg by a javelin on Saturday.
Ryan McGeeney of the Standard-Examiner in Provo, Utah, was spared serious injury, and even managed to snap a photo of his speared leg while others tended to him.
"If I didn't, it would probably be my editor's first question when I got back," McGeeney said. "It wasn't real painful. ... I was very lucky in that it didn't hit any blood vessels, nerves, ligaments or tendons,"
McGeeney, 33, an ex-Marine who spent six months in Afghanistan, was taking pictures of the discus event and apparently wandered into an off-limits area set aside for the javelin.
Striking just below the knee, the javelin tip went through the skin and emerged on the other side of his leg. Much of the javelin was cut off at the scene. The piece in McGeeney's leg was removed at a hospital, and he received 13 stitches.
The javelin was thrown by Anthony Miles, a Provo High School student who said his "heart just stopped" when he saw what happened.
"One of the first things that came to my mind was, 'Good thing we brought a second javelin,'" Miles’coach, Richard Vance, said Monday. He said Miles was "in a little bit of shock," but he assured the athlete it was not his fault.
With a subsequent throw, Miles went on to win the state title in javelin for teams in Provo High's size classification, 4-A.