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Gruesome Leg Breaks To High-Speed Falls: The 10 Worst Olympic Injuries Of All-Time

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Gruesome Leg Breaks To High-Speed Falls: The 10 Worst Olympic Injuries Of All-Time

By Ryan Rosendale

However much we love it, no Olympic Games is perfect.

While every event brings the chance for new moments of triumph, they also bring the opportunity for untimely injuries to occur.

Here, we count down the top worst 10 Olympics injuries of all-time!

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GRAPHIC WARNING! If you're squeamish, look away now...

10. Sa Jae-hyouk's brutal elbow injury - 2012 London Olympic Games

If this ranking was purely on how graphic the injury was, this might close the list and not start it. Still, this one deserves a spot in the top ten. During the 2012 Games in London, South Korean weightlifter Sa Jae-hyouk was attempting to lift 162kg in the snatch event when he dislocated his elbow. It was a horrible injury that saw Jae-hyouk withdraw from the Games immediately.

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09. Greg Louganis bangs his head - 1988 Seoul Olympic Games

Despite winning diving gold in Seoul, American Greg Louganis' nasty head injury almost cost him a podium finish. On the ninth dive of the preliminary round in the three-meter springboard competition, Louganis misjudged his dive and slammed the back of his head on the board. Despite the nasty injury, he went onto complete the last two dives to claim gold before going to the hospital and receive five stitches.

08. Adrienne Nyeste's nasty fall - 2000 Sydney Olympic Games

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The sport of gymnastics has seen many injuries and falls over the Games history but the horrifying fall of Hungarian Adrienne Nyeste in Sydney was one of the worst. While performing a routine on the uneven bars, Nyeste lost control and flew off the high bar, slamming face-first into the mat. After lying motionless for a few minutes, Nyeste eventually rose to her feet and avoided what could have been a catastrophic injury.

07. Manteo Mitchell breaks his leg - 2012 London Olympic Games

The leg injury to American Manteo Mitchell is even more mind-blowing considering the then 23-year-old finished the race. Competing in the 4x400m relay heat, Mitchell was running the first leg when he broke his left fibula at the 200m mark. Manteo went onto finish the race, helping the American team qualify for the final where they would eventually win silver.

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06. Janos Baranyai's gruesome elbow injury - 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

The second of our weightlifting injuries on the countdown shows just how dangerous the sport can be. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, Hungarian Janos Baranyai dislocated his right shoulder while attempting a 148kg lift. It was a brutal injury that saw a two-year recovery with Baranyai not competing again until the 2010 European Championships.

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05. Samir Ait Said's leg injury - 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Gymnastics has already proven itself as an injury-prone sport on our list and this one might just solidify it. In the 2016 Games in Rio, France's Samir Ait Said was competing in the qualifying round when he fractured his tibia on the landing of his vault attempt. It was a brutal injury made even more heartbreaking considering it was Said's Olympics debut.

04. Derek Redmond's heartbreak turns into a heartfelt family moment - 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

Heading into the 400m semi-final at the 1992 Barcelona Games, Great Britain's Derek Redmond looked odds on favourite to run himself into the final. Yet, a heartbreaking hamstring injury saw Redmond go down about 250m from the finish. When stretcher bearers made their way over to Redmond, he rose to his feet and decided he wanted to finish the race, even though his Olympic dreams were over. It was then when an Olympic moment was born. As Redmond hobbled down the track, his father Jim would barge past security to join his son on the track and help him finish the race. While Redmond was officially disqualified and records show he 'DNF', it was the embrace of father and son in front of 65,000 that gave Redmond his Olympic moment.

03. Kerri Strung overcomes injury to claim gold - 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

The heroics of American gymnast Kerri Strung during the 1996 Games are the stuff of legends. During the final day of competition, Strung tore the tendons in her ankle on her first attempt. It was then when her toughness shone through. She rose to her feet and somehow managed to stick her second attempt, landing on her one good ankle with the performance helping Team USA win gold in the process.

02. Annemiek Van Vleuten crashes in Rio - 2016 Rio Olympic Games

In the 2016 Rio edition of the Games, Dutch cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten was in the lead of the women's road race when she came off her bike around a sharp turn. The fall took place during the race's final descent with Vleuten rushed to hospital and placed in intensive care. She was treated for concussion and three fractures to her spine in what was one of cycling's most horrific Olympics injuries.

01. Knud Jensen's fall leads to a tragic outcome - 1960 Rome Olympic Games

In what is the most tragic injuries in our countdown, Danish cyclist Knud Jensen was competing in a cycling race when 108-degree Fahrenheit weather caused him to collapse and fracture his skull on impact. The fall caused irreparable brain damage and Jensen would die later that day with an autopsy revealing heatstroke as the cause of death with doctors claiming years later they found traces of amphetamine in his system. It remains one of only 10 athlete deaths while competing in the Summer Olympics.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Olympics

Topics: olympics, olympic games, Tokyo Olympics, injury, Australia

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