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French Gymnast Who Suffered Horrific Leg Break In Rio Is Making His Comeback

Photo credit: Scott Halleran/Getty
Photo credit: Scott Halleran/Getty

Less than a year after the Olympic Games in Rio, Samir Ait Said, the French gymnast who suffered a gruesome leg fracture during the men’s qualifications, is back to training.

Going into the Olympics, Said had been France’s best hope for a men’s gymnastics medal. His preliminary performance on rings landed him in the top eight on the event, which qualified him for the medal final on that apparatus. But just one apparatus later, he fell on the landing of his vault. His left tibia and fibula snapped underneath him, and when Said fell and rolled over to his back, the lower portion of his leg (below the knee cap) could be seen dangling. Said was quickly stabilized by medics and taken out of the arena on a stretcher while the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Here’s the video of the vault and the horrific injury. (If you’re at all squeamish, take heed from Chicago and “look away, baby, look away.”):

Now, over nine months after that horrific injury, Said is back in the gym. In a time lapse video of his recovery since Rio, Said is seen walking (albeit with assistance of a walker) two days after the accident; six weeks after the fall, he can be seen doing leg presses on a weight machine. Said has even resumed flipping to soft landing surfaces:

Fortunately for Said, rings, his specialty, is almost exclusively an upper-body event, save for the landing on the dismount. Hopefully the 2013 European gold medalist on rings will be able to come back at full strength on his best apparatus.


[The Independent]

Dvora Meyers is a staff writer at Deadspin.

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