Record-Setting Gay Gymnast Kalon Ludvigson Recovering From Devastating Spinal Injury

kalon Ludvigson
Openly gay medalist Kalon Ludvigson was the most decorated trampoline and tumbling gymnast in America  until a devastating injury in August left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Ludvigson, 25, won 10 national titles, 15 World Cup medals, and four World Championship medals before suffering a cervical spine injury while training kids at a gymnastics camp that dislocated his vertebrae and caused spinal-cord compression. It’s left him with numerous neurologic kalon Ludvigson 2impairments, but even in a few short months he’s shown improvement.

From USA Gymnastics:

He has movement of his upper extremities, as well as improving sensation of upper and lower extremities. Ludvigson is still challenged without movement to his lower extremities, and therapy continues with the goal to further improve his fine motor skills of his upper extremities.

After several surgeries, Ludvigson recently transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Englewood, Colorado, where he has begun to feel his toes and legs.

While there have been no major breakthroughs in Ludvigson’s recovery to date, the process has really just begun: These types of injuries are extremely variable, both in the amount of recovery and the time required to do so,” says USA Gymnastics physician Dr. George Drew. “Kalon is in excellent physical condition and is blessed with the support of his friends and family to take this recovery to its best possible result.”

Among Ludvigson’s most ardent boosters is his husband, Justen Millerbernd, who is also his coach. Millerbernd has been relentless in helping Ludvigson with physical therapy,  emotional support and public awareness. He’s also been raising funds for Ludvigson’s medical bills with a GoFundMe campaign.

Find out more about Kalon on his website and make a contribution here.

Below, watch Ludvigson set a tumbling world record in 2011.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.