Injured French gymnast Said undergoes surgery

Associated Press

Rio de Janeiro — Injured French gymnast Samir Ait Said is back on his feet. Sort of.

A day after gruesomely breaking his leg while vaulting during men’s Olympic preliminaries, Said posted a Facebook video from his hospital bed thanking people for the outpouring of support and pledging to return to the sport eventually.

Said underwent surgery on Saturday night to repair the tibia he fractured while trying to land on vault. The image of his leg bent grotesquely at a nearly 90 degree angle went viral immediately. Said praised his French teammates, some of whom managed to qualify for event finals later this week despite being visibly rattled after watching Said leave the Rio Olympic Arena on a stretcher.

“I’m behind all my pals,” Said said. “They managed to keep their act together after my fall. That must have been really difficult. They were real warriors. So come on boys, be strong, I’m with you.”

Said plans to return to the arena as a spectator and has not ruled out making a run at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

“Believe me the adventure of Tokyo 2020 is still possible,” he said. “And as soon as I’m back on my feet I’ll be back in training and searching for that Olympic gold.”