Noah Viera is only 13 years old, and he’s already competing in national gymnastics competitions.
This past weekend, Noah was warming up for a national invitational event in Springfield, Massachusetts, when something went terribly wrong.
The scary event, which was recorded on video and has since gone viral, captures the moment that Noah’s hand slips off the high bar during his warmup before the competition.
In the video, which you can see a portion of below, Noah takes a few practice swings on the high bar, which stands about nine feet off the ground. He throws his body around in circles and then completely loses his grip on the bar and flies through the air.
Incredibly, coach Cal Booker of New England Academy of Gymnastics, who was spotting Noah, took a huge leap forward as the boy was falling and caught him just in time before Noah hit the floor.
“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,” Coach Cal later said.
Noah spoke to the local news station after the event to share his take on what exactly happened mid-swing.
“When I first jumped, I felt the grip was a little slippery,” he explained. “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.”
Noah’s mother was the one who was recording the now-viral video. Although she was terrified at the time, she was happy to report to CBS that Noah later scored his best high-bar score after the close call.
The teen is extremely thankful for his gymnastics coach, and added, “If [Cal] wasn’t there, I would have been in trouble. You have to trust your coaches.”
Check out the video below to see this incredible, last-minute catch, and please SHARE this story on Facebook with your friends!
Photos: CBS Local – WBZ Boston