sports

Injured gymnast shows us the true meaning of an Olympic hero.

Forget gold medallists and Gisele Bundchen, this is what a true Olympic hero looks like.

German gymnast Andreas Toba managed to finish his routine in spite of a serious knee injury, which left him crying “like a little kid”.

Toba landed awkwardly during the floor exercise section of the men’s team event, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.

For those who don’t know what that is, be assured it would be really, really painful.

“I cried like a little kid,” the 25-year-old told the Associated Press. “The injury on my knee is big, but the emotional injury is way bigger.”

While most of us would have retired to the sidelines in the foetal position and maybe given our mum a buzz, Toba knew that unless he completed his routine he’d be letting down his teammates.

So he climbed back on that pommel horse (heh) and managed Germany’s highest score of 14.233, which was enough to pull them through to tomorrow’s final ahead of rivals Switzerland.

“That was amazing,” teammate Fabian Hambuechen said. “It’s an honour to have someone like him on the team.”

Unfortunately, Toba won’t be able to compete because of his injury, telling German newspaper Der Spiegel his “heart is bleeding,” over the premature end to his Olympic journey.

“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.

“For me it was not heroic. I simply couldn’t give up. That I am now in the headlines and getting much sympathy makes me glad because it confirms my actions and certainly does the sport well.”

While Toba may not believe his performance was “heroic”, many others disagree.

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