Injured French gymnast Samir Ait Said is back on his feet – showing his determination to walk again after a horrifying Olympic injury.
After suffering a gruesome double break that saw his lower dangling at a right-angle after a botched vault landing, the Frenchman has been recovering at Vitoria Barra Hospital in Rio.
Despite the severity of his injury Ait Said has been pictured looking in high spirits as he makes his first tentative steps on the road to recovery.
With his leg in a cast and aided by a Zimmer frame the Frenchman has been walking along the hospital corridors and posing for photos.
Ait-Said was visited in his bed by Bruno Grandi, president of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), with the pair smiling for a picture.
On Sunday, just a day after suffering the gruesome his injury, 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.
He even suffered more agony after being dropped by ambulance staff as he was carried away from the gymnastics arena.
Said praised his French team-mates, 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.