TJ Lavin's near-death experiences: 'The Challenge' host almost drowned after bike crash that led to memory loss
TJ broke his orbital bone and ribs in a fatal accident that took place over a decade ago
TJ Lavin hates quitters because he's not one. 'The Challenge: All Stars' host woke up from a medically-induced coma within a week and within months was back to hosting the show. If that doesn't say about this man's grit, what else will?
In 2010, TJ suffered fatal injuries in a bike accident during the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas. He was trying what's called a 'nac nac combination', a BMX trick, when his feet missed the pedal and he was thrown off his bike. The mistimed landing shattered his right wrist, broke his orbital bone and a few ribs. He was rushed to the hospital immediately and was listed as critical upon arrival.
His recovery was a gradual process, more so because he had to deal with memory loss shortly after he regained consciousness. Even though TJ was not able to fully comprehend the intensity of the accident, he was slowly getting back to normalcy after spending close to a month in the hospital.
"It's tough, but he'll get there. He recognizes friends and family. He's just putting the pieces of the puzzle together," TJ's friend Chas Aday had told US Weekly as he shared further updates on the athlete's cognition, which was in bad shape. However, TJ picked up the pace. During a rehabilitation session, he was asked to name historic events and he listed the 9/11 attacks, Pearl Harbor and Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction as his top three picks.
The next thing we know, he is filming for the then-new season of 'The Challenge', during which he almost drowned. He went for a quick swim that didn't end well. "I almost drowned out there. There’s a nasty undertow, and I went out into the ocean like nothing, like I was good, and I was like, no problem. I’m just going to go out here and go swimming," he revealed on 'Flip The Strip' radio show and added: "Before I knew it I was like 100 yards off the coast."
Thankfully, his friend was surfing at the time and had noticed TJ was struggling. He pulled him on his surfboard and they rode to the coast together. "He was like, ‘You’re way far out here, bro,’ and I was like, ‘I couldn’t get back in.’ … We rode the surfboard together into the shore and we kind of just had to go wherever we could, and it ended up in the rocks. It was just a mess. That’s the only thing I remember from Costa Rica," TJ added.
Catch more of TJ when he begins 'The Challenge: All Stars' on Paramount Plus.