When it comes to toughness, it’s hard to beat Olympic athletes. These are people who train hard for four years to become the best athletes in the world at their position, and it can turn a nobody into a household name overnight. Such is the case for former Western Carolina University sprinter Manteo Mitchell. Unless you’re a track fan, you don’t know his name, but you’ll know his deed. Manteo Mitchell finished a 4×400 meter relay heat despite breaking his leg halfway through the race. That’s right, he ran 400 meters in 46.1 seconds with a broken fibula, faster than 99 percent of the population could with two legs.
“Sad news, for those who don’t already know, I suffered a broken (fibula) bone in my left leg at the 200m mark of my 400 leg in the relay,” wrote Mitchell in a post on Twitter. ”I still split 45 running with a broken leg so I thank God for allowing me to have enough courage and strength to finish for my team and my country. I could have easily given up, but for the RED WHITE & BLUE I WAS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING TO WIN!” He later added, “This has been an amazing season, and I am sad that it is coming to an end in this fashion. I wish my teammates the best as they continue to compete! This setback will only make me even more hungry for next season, so until that time comes … #FaithFocusFinish.”
Mitchell joins fellow 400 meters specialists Jeremy Wariner (the 2004 gold medalist) and LaShawn Merritt (the 2008 gold medalist who failed a drug test due to male enhancement pills) on the injured list. Angelo Taylor, nominally a hurdler, will replace Mitchell on the team should they need a replacement. The United States team, despite Mitchell’s slow time and injury, finished the heat in second place, qualifying for the next round of relays.
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