11 Most Frightening Olympic Mishaps

The Summer Olympics are so amazing they can only come every four years, or else our brains would melt out our eyes. Athletes, at the top of their game, doing things most humans can only dream of, are the closest thing we have to superheroes. But occasionally, when you push your body farther than it was ever meant to go, accidents happen. Even if you’re just around people pushing their bodies, sometimes awful things will happen. Like …

Samir Ait Said breaks his leg

Did you see the Rio Olympics? Awesome, huh? Aside from the whole Ryan Lochte inventing muggers thing, that is. Well, we’re guessing Samir Ait Said — the dude who broke his freaking leg in the men’s gymnastics qualifying round — probably didn’t think it was that awesome. The French gymnast was attempting to qualify when he landed badly and broke his freaking leg. While being wheeled away by doctors, he managed to wave to the cheering crowd. Who said gladiator sports are a thing of the past?

Manteo Mitchell breaks a leg, keeps on running

Didn’t the London 2012 Olympics seem so much nicer and safer and better in every way than 2016’s Rio? That’s because they were. Take the case of Manteo Mitchell. He, like a lot of other Olympians in this article, broke a body part during his sportsing. In his case, he was running the first leg of a relay race, when he felt his leg break. At which point he fell down in agony, cursing the gods, and mother that bore him, right? Because that’s what we would do if we broke our leg at the beginning of our Olympic race. Of course, that might be why we’re not Olympians, because Mitchell did, with a broken leg, and almost a full race ahead of him … kept on running.

Okay, at this point, we’re just convinced he’s a Terminator and nothing you tell us will convince us otherwise. Oh, and his team qualified, by the way.

Annemiek Van Vleuten's horrific crash

Annemiek Van Vleuten was blessed with not only the coolest non-supervillain name ever, but also apparently Wolverine’s neck bones, because that’s the only possible way she survived this crash.

Van Vleuten is a professional cyclist who was racing down the streets of Rio competing, as competitors do, when every road she callously ran over took their revenge. Due to … something … she crashed and got a concussion, fractures, and ended up in intensive care. At least she didn’t break her leg though, right? We’re pretty sure this is actually a sign that God hates bicycles and we should never bike anywhere again. Or run or walk anywhere, for safe measure.

Andranik Karapetyan dislocated elbows

*Before we go any further, word of warning — this one might be the most shocking of our videos. Watch at your own risk.*

Do you like your elbows? How much would you like them if they were dislocated? Less, right? Thankfully, you probably won’t find out what it’s like, because you don’t pick up things many many times your own body weight and try and hold them over your head. But Olympic weightlifters would, despite lifting heavy things and holding them directly above your head being ane asy to ensure that accidents happen. Terrible ones.

Andranik Karapetyan was an Armenian weightlifter who, during the Rio games, tried to lift 195 kg (a whopping 430 pounds) above his head and, well, he got it up there once. So that’s good. But on his second lift, his body just went, “Haha, nope,” and gave out on him, dislocating. That’s not good.

Of course, his elbws were just dislocated, not broken. And Karapetyan is just twenty years old, so there’s a good chance he might be back in 2020 to break his arms again. Here’s to hoping!

An aerial camera falls on audience

You know how you can tell the Rio Olympics were super dangerous? Even the audience got injured. This happened when a camera just up and fell on the audience, injuring seven people. Thankfully no one died, and no one was horribly injured. They just, you know, ended up with blood-covered faces and neck braces. This probably was not their plan.

In an effort to win the gold in Rio Olympics Villainy, the camera’s cable managed to injure two children as well. Really, this entire Olympics was a garbage fire and no one was safe. Not even Ryan Lochte, from those imaginary muggers. (Don’t worry, we won’t bring him up any more.)

Kerri Strug shrugs off injury

If a normal person tore a ligament in their ankle, they’d scream in pain and cry out for their mothers, mainly because normal people aren’t Olympians. Want to know what Olympians do when that happens? They do freakin’ gymnastics on it, which is what happened with Kerri Strug during the 1996 Olympics. She tore two ligaments in her leg, but that didn’t keep her from winning a gold medal!

On her first attempted vault, she injured her leg, but despite that, she kept going. Either she was a huge masochist, or she was more dedicated than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. After her second dismount, she landed on her completely tore-up ankle and started hopping in pain, but still attempted to put on a brave face on for the judges, before completely collapsing.

Despite destroying a part of her body, she managed to win gold and even came out — in a leg cast — to accept it. This goes to show that the saying is true: you can’t keep a good girl down, even if you destroy the one thing she uses to both get around and perform her gift in front of the entire world.

Sarah Menezes suffers a horrific arm injury

You know the best part about doing judo? The awesome belts. Also, not breaking your arm in front of the entire world. Sarah Menezes would probably agree with the latter. While competing at the Rio Olympics, Menezes’ opponent, Urantsetseg Monkhbat, broke her arm. We don’t know everything about Judo, but isn’t that the type of thing you should discourage in competition? Regardless, her limb now as functional as a balloon at a porcupine sanctuary, Menezes was helped off the field by her coach, having already tapped out on the basis of punching being really hard to do with a broken bone. It’s probably just as well, as she probably would’ve been disqualified had she tried to continue, bone jutting out of your skin probably counting as an unfair advantage and all.

Liam Phillips' concussion

Phillips was competing in the quarter-final of the men’s BMX competition at Rio, when he crashed his bike. Luckily, he didn’t break anything, aside from maybe whatever dignity he had left. Oh, yeah, and his head. That thing. Luckily, he didn’t shatter his skull or anything like that — he simply suffered a concussion. You know an injury could’ve been really horrifying if a concussion is the best-case scenario.

Thankfully it was a minor concussion, but we have to ask — at what point does your highly physical, clearly dangerous job stop being fun? Isn’t it when getting a concussion is comparatively not that bad? We’re pretty sure that’s when you should just hang up your helmet and enjoy a much safer sport. Like tennis.

Andrea Hlavackova gets her bone broken while playing tennis

Never mind.

Somehow, one of the gentlest sports on Earth got fierce enough during the Rio Olympics to actually cause major injuries. It wasn’t from a fall or anything, either. No, Hlavackova’s opponent spiked the tennis ball so hard that when it hit her, it broke her orbital bone. We’re pretty sure that means we’ve found the origin story for the world’s lamest superhero — Tennis Girl. Her tennis balls are faster than a speeding bullet, able to absolutely destroy a locomotive.

If such an injury happened to us, we would sue the Olympics, our opponents, our parents (for giving us eyes) and the descendants of Walter C. Wingsfield (he founded tennis!). However, her response was much more chill. She just admitted that it was a good shot, even though it took her out of the next game … which her country then lost. Was her opponent some oddly specific, non-lethal, Olympic-based, tennis-playing Terminator? We would watch that movie.

In Rio, the men's Olympic cyclists kept falling down

Three different cycling injuries at the same Olympics? At this point, it seems like the most dangerous thing to do at the Olympics — an event where you can shoot arrows and guns — is ride a friggin’ bike. This incident, though, had a very definite culprit. You’re probably thinking something like a poorly timed coach or tourist wandering on the field, or maybe even a devious squirrel whose parents died at the wheel of a careless cyclist.

Nope, it was another Olympian. Mark Cavendish veered suddenly, causing one of his other opponents to crash, which caused others behind him to crash like a series of living dominoes. After causing a huge pile-up, he went on to win the silver medal, because the Olympics are nothing if not cruel representations of our basest nature.

Greg Louganis hits head on diving board, manages to win gold

Greg Louganis was a diver, which means that he had exactly three jobs — be shirtless, jump off a board, and fall into the water. Somehow, during the 1988 Olympics, he managed to absolutely muck up that last one. Instead of falling into the water, he dove right back into the board he jumped off of. If you watch the video, be warned: it has a full-grown man completely bashing his head against a springy board at the Olympics, like the worst episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos we can imagine.

Somehow — perhaps out of sympathy? — the judges gave him the Gold medal. Maybe they thought he meant to do that, like some kind of avant-garde routine? Or maybe it’s because after he crashed, unconscious into the pool, he went back up and did two more dives. This wasn’t the first time he did this, either. He had hit his head when jumping into the water back in 1979, and didn’t quit then either. So apparently, concussions and giant cartoony head-bumps are his secret weapons to success.

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