USC and Newport Beach product Kaleigh Gilchrist of the U.S. Water Polo team suffered a serious leg injury in the collapse of a balcony inside a nightclub in South Korea, the team announced Saturday.
Two people were killed and 17 people were injured, including athletes competing at the FINA World Championships, in Friday’s accident at the Coyote Ugly nightclub in Gwangju, South Korea.
“Last night members of the USA Water Polo Senior National Teams were present at an establishment in Gwangju, South Korea celebrating the Women’s National Team winning the FINA World Championship,” the team’s officials website tweeted Saturday. “During the evening a floor collapsed and a handful of USA Water Polo athletes suffered non-life-threatening injuries. All USA Water Polo athletes are safe and accounted for. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy.
“… Kaleigh Gilchrist suffered a deep left leg laceration and underwent surgery today at a hospital in Gwangju.”
Men’s team members Johnny Hooper, from Los Angeles, needed stitches for a cut on his left hand, and Ben Hallock, of Westlake Village, California, suffered minor scrapes to his legs, the team said.
“This is an awful tragedy,” said Christopher Ramsey, CEO of USA Water Polo. “Players from our men’s and women’s teams were celebrating the women’s world championship victory when the collapse occurred at a public club. Our hearts go out to the victims of the crash and their families.”
Gilchrist won a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics.