Injured Aït Saïd Vows 2020 Olympic Comeback
(3 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)



French gymnast Samir Aït Saïd has thanked his supporters and vowed to come back following the horrific injury he sustained on vault Saturday during the qualification at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

French gymnast Samir Aït Saïd has thanked his supporters and vowed to come back following the horrific injury he sustained on vault Saturday during the qualification at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"I'll come back stronger at the Tokyo Olympics to win Olympic gold," he said Saturday evening from the hospital in Rio, where he is due to undergo surgery. "I also want to thank my teammates and all the staff and fans for their support."

Aït Saïd, 26, snapped his leg landing his Tsukahara double pike on Saturday afternoon in the third rotation of the competition. He collapsed in silent agony to the mat, where he lay for 15 minutes, white-faced and in shock, attended by medical personnel before being carried off on a stretcher.

The injury, broadcast to millions of viewers around the world, left observers and fellow competitors stunned by the image of his misshapen leg. His teammates stoically finished the competition, but the team eventually finished last.

"We can't know what happened during the vault and what went wrong," French team technical director Corinne Callon told AFP after the competition. "We are still under the influence of emotion, it's unexpected and dramatic. I am proud of the team. There were still three events left and they did well to the end of the competition. They managed to regroup, and now they let will go (emotionally). It's very complicated."

Doctors confirmed he suffered a double compound fracture to his left tibia and fibula, the long bones that connect the knee to the ankle. But it was clear from the second he landed that the Olympic Games were over for Aït Saïd, who qualified to the still rings final prior to his injury but will be forced to withdraw.

"The image is unbearable. The suffering intense. The curse absolute," wrote Le Figaro newspaper of the gymnast.

It was the second Olympic disappointment for Aït Saïd, a Frenchman of Algerian descent who trains in Antibes. A lock for the French Olympic team for years ago in London, Aït Saïd was forced out of the running after he suffered a major injury to his right leg in May 2012. Competing during the team final during the European championships in Montpellier, he suffered multiple fractures to his right tibia on a Dragulescu vault. Despite the injury, he stayed with his team as they finished the competition before heading to the hospital.

He was forced to undergo surgery then as well before a long period of recovery.


Aït Saïd after breaking his right tibia on vault at the 2012 European Championships in Montpellier. Despite the injury, he stayed with his team as they finished the competition before heading to the hospital.

Aït Saïd made a strong comeback in April 2013, tying for the European championship title on still rings. He added a bronze medal at the 2014 Europeans and silver at the 2015 Europeans, and qualified to the rings final at the world championships in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

This past April, he helped France grab the final men's team qualification spot for the Olympic Games during the Test event in Rio, where he also won the bronze on still rings.

But the Olympics are his ultimate goal, and this spring he said he would be "out for revenge" in Rio for his lost chance in 2012. He was targeting medals on rings and vault.

"I really have not digested what happened to me four years ago," he said in March. "I'm kind of stubborn and I really don't like to do things halfway."

On Saturday night, Callon said Aït Saïd had already texted her with his plans to make a full comeback for 2020,

"That is Samir, with his determination and his will," she said. "This is his state of mind at the moment."

Comments (1)add comment

Trent Jarrett said:

0
...
This is one tough dude and one of my favorite French Gymnasts. Too bad he cannot compete in the Rings Finals in Rio as he made the cut.
 
August 07, 2016
Votes: +0

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy
 

Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.

Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser. The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.

Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.