French gymnast Samir Ait Said speaks from hospital bed after gruesome injury

Fourth-Place Medal
France’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/samir" data-ylk="slk:Samir">Samir</a> Ait Said is assisted after injuring his leg in the vault. (AP)
France’s Samir Ait Said is assisted after injuring his leg in the vault. (AP)

The French gymnast who drew worldwide sympathy after gruesomely breaking his leg on Saturday is vowing to make a return for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Samir Ait Said posted a Facebook video from his hospital bed in Rio on Sunday morning, confirming that he’d had successful surgery for a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. His left leg was adorned with a cast bearing the colors of the French flag and he said he’d remain in town to root on his French teammates during competition.

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“All in all, everything went well, I’m happy,” Said said. “Actually, I still can return to the venue to cheer on my friends because the competition isn’t over. I still put myself the ambiance with the blue, white and red cast. Allez la France!”

Said sustained his injury after landing badly from an attempted vault. The snap of his leg could be heard throughout the venue and video of the grotesque injury quickly went viral on the Internet.

The comments underneath Said’s Facebook video were filled with well wishes from people around the world.

Said is 26 years old and will be 30 when the next Summer Games roll around.

“Believe me, the Tokyo 2020 adventure is still alive,” Said said. “As soon as I’m recovered, believe me, we’ll go back to training and we’ll go after those Olympics.”

 

Samir Ait Said (Facebook)
Samir Ait Said (Facebook)

Here’s the full translation of Said’s comments (thanks to Stephanie Myles):

Good evening to all,

I wanted to make a little video to thank you for your messages of support. They really warmed my heart. They did me some good, they raised my morale.

As you know via the media, I have a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. Not great. It required an operation on site.

The operation went very well, I will be back on my feet in not too, too long – well, back on my feet being relative.

All in all, everything went well, I’m happy. Actually, I still can return to the venue to cheer on my friends because the competition isn’t over. I still put myself the ambiance with the blue, white and red cast. Allez la France!

I wish you all best, my friends in the general competition, and in the men’s pommel. They managed to step it up after my fall, which really must not have been easy. They were warriors.

Boys, I say, Good luck. Be strong, be good. I’m with you.

And for all of you, lots of kisses for all and believe me, the Tokyo 2020 adventure is still alive and as soon as I’m recovered, believe me, we’ll go back to training and we’ll go after those Olympics.

Again, big thanks, and you’re the best.

Warning: Graphic video — Gymnast breaks leg on vault

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