Nothing can be worse than a beautiful dream turning into a living nightmare. A nightmare is what Olympic sprinter Manteo Mitchell experienced during the 4X400-meter relay preliminaries Thursday.
Mitchell, 25, broke his left fibula during his race.
“It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half,” Mitchell said, according to the Associated Press.
Despite the injury, Mitchell managed to finish his lap in 46.1 seconds before limping off the track. The United States qualified for the final, tying the Bahamas in the second heat in 2 minutes, 58.87 seconds, according to AP.
“I heard it and I felt it,” he said. “But I figured it’s what almost any person would’ve done in that situation.”
Mitchell is a member of a prolific U.S. Olympic team that has won gold in the last eight long relays they’ve entered at the Olympics.
Mitchell knew he couldn’t let his team down and quit mid-race.
“Even though track is an individual sport, you’ve got three guys depending on you, the whole world watching you,” he said. “You don’t want to let anyone down.”
Mitchell attended Eastern Illinois University where he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Nu Zeta chapter.
A popular poem the fraternity holds dear is “Don’t Quit.” Mitchell may have recited the poem as he pushed himself to keep going.
“Faith, focus, finish. Faith, focus, finish. That’s the only thing I could say to myself,” he said.
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