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What’s up with this year’s Olympic Games? Is it cursed? The number of injuries in just the first five days of the event certainly makes it seem so. And although the games are no stranger to gruesome injuries, the sheer number of fractures and falls certainly make it seem other works are at play.
Athletes are trained to push past the pain barrier but for some contestants like the French gymnast Samir Ait Said, doing so was simply not an option.
Said, 26, suffered a ghastly double break that left his lower leg dangling with just the support of sinew and skin, after he landed at an awkward angle from a vault. He collapsed clutching his leg to add and seemed to be in agony. To add insult to the injury, the bumbling paramedics dropped his stretcher while attempting to place him in an ambulance.
For the 20-year-old Armenian weightlifter, Andranik Karapetyan, things did not turn out any better. Karapetyan was lifting a 195 kg weight over his head in a second attempt, when his left arm snapped backwards under the immense pressure and the weightlifter was left writhing in pain. The athlete was shown gripping his elbow which had dislocated horribly. The horrific injury may have ended Karapetyan’s heavylifting career.
Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten was also taken to the hospital after she hurled over the handle bars when her bicycle crashed at the Vista Chinesa descent, a course which has been criticized for being too dangerous. The cyclist suffered from three cracked vertebrae and suffered a concussion that left her unconscious. The 33-year-old later tweeted out that she was doing “fine” but was disappointed for not being able to continue the race. She also tweeted out a picture of her injuries.
Another cyclist, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, had to undergo surgery after suffering a double fracture to his collarbone during the men’s road race on Saturday. His clavicle had to be mended with the application of metal plates.
British gymnast Ellie Downie is one lucky girl. Downie suffered a scary fall during the qualifying round of artistic gymnastics on Sunday and landed on her head and neck in an incident that drew horrified gasps from the spectators.
“I crunched my neck,” she said later after her teammates and coaches rushed to her aid. “It sounds pretty gross but I just felt dizzy before my last tumble.”
Downie, did not suffer from any lasting effect and was able to return to complete the vault.
At some point during the women’s cycling road individual time trial, U.S. cyclist Kristin Armstrong nose started to bleed. However, Armstrong’s only concern was whether she won and when she was assured that she had won yet another gold medal, she collapsed in heap in the middle of the road.
Lest see what the next ten days of the Olympic brings. Hopefully, nothing too catastrophic.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kim Hong-Ji