Worst Injuries in Olympic History

  • Injuries are inevitable in the Olympic games
  • Derek Redmond's injury is still an inspiration for many on how to cope with an injury
  • Most of the injuries are career ending for the athletes
worst injuries in olympic
Image source: Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons

With the world’s best of the best competing in the same arena, pushing the human’s physical strength to its limit, injuries are inevitable in the Olympics. Now that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is nearing with many obstacles even before it began, here is the list of worst injuries in Olympic History.

Now, we know that it’s not sensible to rank one’s injury and compare them to each other since there’s no actual measure. For any sportsman, injury means a fruitless end to their years of hard work and wasted time and effort. Even though not every injury is career-ending, any little obstacle during the Olympics is devastating to their performance.

So down below are the worst injuries in the Olympic history that ended some of the most promising athlete’s careers. As mentioned before, the Olympic games are so important to them that even the most gruesome injuries can’t stop them. Since for most of them, it’s once in a lifetime chance, the athletes do everything in their power to give their best. Sometimes, the strength that comes from them is so unimaginable that only momentary shock and adrenaline can explain them.

Janos Baranyai’s injury tops the list of worst injuries in Olympic history

Not surprisingly, weightlifting is the sport with the most injuries. In order to lift the weights twice or thrice as much as their body weight above their head. In order to deal with this, the athletes put enormous pressure on their back and knees. However, for a Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai, it was a different case. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when he was attempting to lift 326.3 pounds above his head, his elbow snatched. That left his forearm hanging with no support until the ambulance came. What made the already bad situation one of the worst injuries in the Olympics history is that while he was dealing with his pain in the elbow, the 326.3 pounds bar fell into his back.

However, even this gruesome injury couldn’t break his spirit. After spending three weeks in rehabilitation and going under several surgeries in China, he went back to Hungary. He has started his recovery as soon as he came to Hungary. Then in 2010, he has officially made his comeback in international competitions. Even more, despite his long odds at the online sportsbooks in Japan, he earned further achievements in his career.

Paul George reaches out to the Samir Ait Said

worst injuries in olympic
Paul George in ’14 – Image source: File: Anthony Tolliver defending Paul George.jpg: joshuak8derivative work: Chrishmt0423 / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons

Another one of the worst injuries in the Olympic history that left a limb dangling is the Samir Ait Said’s injury. When this French gymnast was competing in the Rio 2016, he has suffered from the leg injury during the qualification. His left leg snapped on his vault landing left his foot and lower half of the shin dangling in the opposite direction of his leg.

After the broadcasting of his injury, Paul George who has suffered from a similar injury in has reached out to him. He wrote in his twitter “I feel for you, brother… You’ll be in my prayers! You’ll come back stronger from this trust me”. And so he did. Samir has qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics as he promised in the video taken just a day after his gruesome injury.

Elissa Downie and Becky Downie get over their injuries together

Unfortunately, Samir’s was not the only injury during Rio 2016. Elissa “Ellie” Downie who was only 17 at the time, has crunched her neck when she has landed on her neck. She was placed in the wheelchair for a moment after her injury. Despite this, she has decided to continue her performance after she came over the initial shock.

After that, which can be counted as one of the worst injuries in Olympic history, the injury, unfortunately, didn’t leave her. She hurt her toes which is vital for a gymnast like her. Her sister Becky has hurt her elbow at approximately the same time. In the recent press conference, Ellie told the media that since they had each other to push themselves, it was nice to have her at her side.

Sa Jae-Hyouk recovers from one of the worst injuries in Olympic history only to end his career

Sa Jae Hyouk’s career has ended for him, but not because of one of the worst injuries in the Olympic history he has suffered from. Korea Weightlifting Federation has given him 10-year suspense from weightlifting which basically ends his career. It’s quite surprising that it has taken this long for the Federation to ban him. He has beaten up his fellow trainee Hwang Woo-Man, so severe that he has to be hospitalized for six weeks to recover. After the incident, it has been revealed that some even avoided training with him because of the physical assaults.

Before this scandal ending his career, his injury in the London 2012 Olympics has almost ended it. He has dislocated his elbow while trying to lift 357 pounds over his head. He was one of the most promising athletes to win a medal in 77kg weight class. Unfortunately, despite online sportsbook news in Japan expected his return, his career in the Olympics has ended with only one medal in the Beijing Olympics.

Derek Redmond’s symbolic last track

When it comes to pride, coping with injuries and persistence of a sportsman, Derek Redmond is the name that first comes to the mind. Even though he started off his athletic career in great form, it was always toppled with injuries. In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, he was competing in the 400 meters sprint tournament. However, he fell down to the ground 250 meters short of the finishing line due to a torn hamstring.

Obviously the medical support has rushed to him with a stretcher, but he has decided to finish the race. When he got up and started limping towards the finish line, his father broke through the security to help him. The image of his father and him leaning on him has remained as a symbol of humanity in the Olympics. It might be not necessarily one of the worst injuries in the Olympics, it’s most definitely the most symbolic one. His career in running has ended after this injury.

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