Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Photo courtesy Cristina Anne Costello Unsplash

Tiger Woods’ car crash and its impact on the sports world

By Rodrigo Verney, March 16 2021—

Injuries are the most feared event in the sports world. The way that such a problem is so out of our control perfectly encapsulates how delicate our health can be, despite all the hard work we put to it. Not only that, but the amount of preparation and luck needed to return to the field playing as you once played is a challenge in itself. As statistics shows, only 39 in every 100 athletes come back from an injury at the same level. However, the worst part of injuries have to be how they can happen at any time and place. This was the case with the legendary golf player Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods’s accident has shocked the sports community to its core. This news reflected on the hardships that we faced for a long time now. This past year took a toll on our hearts, with the loss of beloved commissioner David Stern and the horrible helicopter accident that took out the lives of nine people including the legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter. To quote Steve A. Smith: “The sports world has lost a lot in these 13 months.” 

Woods was the sole passenger of his car when he allegedly rolled over on a downhill portion of Hawthorne Avenue — a road in Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles. The accident took place at approximately 7:12 a.m. PST. The County Sheriff stated that he was driving at a relatively greater speed than normal. Although sources say that the reason why the vehicle rolled over is still being investigated, Golf Digest assumed that, “Woods was trying to cross onto the wrong side of the road before veering off the road entirely and onto a hillside.” 

Thankfully, Woods has had successful leg surgery and is set to heal from multiple fractures on both legs. The accident has been pretty severe, granting him a rod inserted into his right tibia for stabilization. His foot and ankle are also being aided by screws and pins. Even though the accident may put an end to his career, Woods is a player that has nothing left to prove and we are overjoyed to hear that he will make a full recovery.

Woods already suffered with back problems since 2015. He had five back surgeries prior to the accident, including one in January this year. This event prevented him from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics — the year when golfing made its comeback to the Olympic scene after decades of absence. This hasn’t cut his career short as he won many other awards after that fourth back surgery.

Tiger Woods is a household name that transcended the fame he had in his sport. The legendary player has had a very dense career. Woods first won the Masters Tournament while only being twenty-two years old, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the sports. He went on to win this tournament another four times including a back to back win in 2001 and 2002. Woods last Masters win was in 2019 when he became a five-time Masters champion. This solidified his amazing golf career after eleven years .

Golf players from all around the world from all ages and levels have joined together to honour Tiger Woods on social media. The fans wore red polo shirts, black pants and white gloves — an homage to Woods’s classic attire. Woods acknowledged the imagery that the fans posted to social media. He made an emotional comment on twitter thanking fans for the prayers and honours in this difficult time. “It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”

Although the golf star is getting progressively better, Woods claims to have lost his memory regarding the accident and how it came to be. In a recent article from CNN, Woods would have been conscious when he was saved from the wreckage, although an on-site witness states that he was unconscious when the accident happened. The authorities are looking into the case for legal reasons, but they do believe that the incident was “purely an accident” as Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated. It is likely that Woods will face no charges as stated by CNN.

Tiger Woods is undoubtedly one of the greatest names in sports. The thought of someone being in such a high standard illustrates an underlying message that many fans have a hard time dealing with. We admire these people so much that it comes to a point where we forget that they are just that — people. Like any other person, they are subjected to illness and injuries all the time. 

Unfortunately, injury is an unforgiving entity that does not choose its victims and it appears when we least expect it. Wielding the power to absolutely change the trajectory of sports history it brings every fan to collectively put their hands together and wish them the best. The para-social relationship that we end up acquiring with those on the field makes for devastating news that we are never prepared for.

All athletes have one thing in common — they will not allow their dreams to be cut short by their illness. If only 39 in 100 come back at the same level, 100 in 100 have accepted the challenge.



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