9 Scary Olympic Injuries

A few days ago, you read about Samir Ait Said's horrendous leg break while attempting a vault during the men's team preliminaries in Oddee's 10 Oddest News Items From The Rio Olympics. Since then, several athletes have been injured in varying degrees of severity. Are competitors at the 2016 Summer Games more accident prone than in past years? Check out nine unbelievable mishaps that occurred both on and off the playing field.

1The weightlifter who dislocated his elbow during the clean and jerk competition

Ouch! When Armenian weightlifter Andranik Karapetyan attempted to lift 195kg [429lbs] in the clean and jerk competition, he suffered a horrifying extended elbow that caused his arm to bend the wrong way and crumble under the weight of the bar.

Karapetyan, one of the favorites for the competition, was screaming in pain, with medics and trainers rushing to his aid before he walked off the stage cradling his injured arm.

The injury was not only excruciatingly painful but also wrecked his chances of winning a medal in his Olympic debut after he finished second in the snatch competition.

2The gymnast who landed on her head during her floor routine

17-year-old Ellie Downie was poised to make history at the Rio Olympics, but a shocking fall put that dream in jeopardy in the women's gymnastics qualification round.

Downie had gotten through uneven bars and balance beam without incident, but at the halfway point of her floor routine, she tried to perform a flip with two-and-a-half twists directly into a tucked front flip. She didn't have enough control to get her body completely around, and landed directly on her head and neck. Downie picked herself up and tried to finish, but stepped off the competition mat instead.

Her coach and medical staff assisted her out of the arena and to the hospital. Thankfully, her injuries were not serious. She soon returned to compete on vault and qualified to the all-around final.

3Th cyclist whose hip injury forced her retirement at age 25

Australian track cyclist Melissa Hoskins crashed and burned while training in Rio just three days before the action got under way in the Olympic velodrome. Hoskins' crash took out four of the five-strong team pursuit squad, with only Annette Edmondson staying upright.

Hoskins has ended her career at age 25, saying "there is only so much pain" she can handle. “I want to finish on my own terms before I start to hate the sport, so I'm stepping away completely,” she said.

4A calf injury derails a rising badminton star from Malaysia

Tee Jing Yi came to Rio prepared to give her best in what may be her final Olympics, but it was not to be. A calf injury suffered midway through her first game against Japan's Akane Yamaguchi saw the Malaysian falling to a 21-18, 21-5 defeat.

She was leading the Group K tie 17-15 when she grimaced in pain upon landing after hitting a shot. She asked for medical attention, which she received, but could hardly move in the second game as the Yamaguchi pushed forward.

Jing Yi said she might not compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "That is four years away, and I don't know if I can carry on. I am disappointed with what has happened in Rio and will take a break first."

5The equestrian who gave up her Olympic dreams for her sick horse

Dutch equestrian Adelinde Cornelissen willingly gave up her Olympic dreams when her horse, Parzival, fell ill in his stall before he was due to compete.

While visiting Parzival, Cornelissen noticed the right side of his head was swollen, and he had been kicking the walls in his stall. She checked and — sure enough — Parzival was running a fever.

It is believed he was bitten by an insect which produces toxins. He was given fluids, and X-rays were taken of his jaw. When his temperature dropped and the swelling had subsided, vets and the team coach gave the horse the green light to compete.

Cornelissen took him to the arena but wasn't convinced — instead she put her dreams of competing aside for his well-being. "When I entered, I already felt he was giving his utmost and being the fighter he is; he never gives up... But to protect him, I gave up," Cornelissen said. "My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything for me his whole life does not deserve this.... So I saluted and left the arena."

6The gymnast who completed a pommel horse event with a torn ACL

German gymnast Andreas Toba suffered a torn ACL during qualifying for the men's floor event. Badly injured, he fell to the ground and immediately started crying, as he thought his injury would cost his team a chance of progressing. But he didn't give up. Later that day, he completed his pommel horse event with the torn ligament so Germany could qualify for the next round.

7The cyclist who took a tragic tumble during competition

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten was leading the Women's Road Race when she appeared to lose control on the descent, landing awkwardly on a roadside curb.

Video footage showed van Vleuten laying motionless on the ground with paramedics surrounding her. She suffered three spinal fractures and concussion as a result of the crash but has informed fans she is on the mend. Watch the horrific tumble below:

8The Italian cyclist whose Olympic dreams were dashed after a collarbone break

Another Olympic cyclist, another devastating fall — Vincenzo Nibali suffered a double collarbone fracture during the men's road race. He was one of the several high-profile riders to suffer injuries as a result of crashes during the competition. (Colombia's Sergio Henao also crashed. He suffered a fracture to the iliac crest and chest trauma.) Nibali was flown to Italy for surgery.

Many believe Rio's treacherous road race course, while scenic, is to blame. Chris Boardman, a cycling commentator for the BBC and former-Olympic track cyclist, said, "“I went down and had a look at the course and saw those edges. We knew it was way past being technical; it was dangerous. I looked at that road furniture and thought, ‘nobody can crash here and just get up.'"

9The groom who was kicked in the head by a competing horse

British groom Robbie Sanderson, a coach with the German dressage team, was injured during the team medal ceremony.

As the medals were awarded, Sanderson was parading Sönke Rothenberg's nine-year-old horse, Cosmo, when it reared up, caught him on the head, and knocked him to the ground. Blood gushed from his forehead, as a replacement groom held Cosmo for the remainder of the ceremony. Robbie left the arena with a towel pressed to the wound, and was taken to the hospital to have the injury assessed, but he appears to be okay.

Comments