Audiences admired a male gymnast’s act of sacrifice during the qualification round of the gymnastics competition at the Olympics. Despite suffering a serious knee injury, German gymnast Andreas Toba pushed himself to complete his pommel horse routine so Germany could advance to the finals of the men’s gymnastics team competition.
Toba tore his anterior cruciate ligament when he landed after doing a front flip with two twists on the pommel horse. It was clear that the gymnast got in an accident as soon as he grabbed his right knee and called for help.
The German athlete told the AP that he cried like a little kid. While his knee injury is big, he says that his emotional injury is a lot bigger.
However, Andreas Toba knew that if he did not complete the routine, his team will get disqualified. Thus, he climbed back on the pommel horse and completed the routine despite the pain. His teammates carried him off afterward.
Fortunately, Toba helped Germany gather 14.233 points. This was good enough to rank higher than Switzerland and qualify for tomorrow’s final competition.
Toba’s teammate Fabian Hambüchen describes this act as amazing. Hambüchen was honored to have someone like Toba on the team.
Still, Toba points out that he does not view his decision as heroic. It was of utmost importance to complete his routine.
Unfortunately for Toba, he now has to watch his teammates on the sidelines. The German athlete is heartbroken to leave the Olympic stage.
“My heart is bleeding,” Toba told the German publication Der Spiegel. “It still feels like a dream, but it is the reality. Physically I am otherwise actually quite good, even if my knee is thick and swollen. The dream has burst, but I did not want to say goodbye to the Olympic stage.”