French gymnast Samir Ait Said performs first somersault since suffering broken leg at Rio 2016 Olympics

The 27-year-old is nearing a return to gymnastics nine months after snapping his leg

Jack de Menezes@JackdeMenezes
Wednesday 24 May 2017 11:33
Samir Aït Saïd's amazing road to recovery

French gymnast Samir Ait Said has completed his first full somersault since suffering a horrific broken leg during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with his 286-day recovery documented through an inspiring time-lapse video.

The 27-year-old shot to prominence during last-year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for all the wrong reason after he snapped the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg upon his landing during qualifying for the men’s gymnastics.

After landing awkwardly, Ait Said’s left leg collapsed beneath him, with sickening video footage showing it swinging around loosely as he fell to the floor in considerable pain.

The incident was one of the low-lights of a very positive Olympic Games, but Ait Said was able to lift his arm and wave to the crowd as he was taken out of the arena on a stretcher.

However, as the above video displays, Ait Said was already walking again just four days after suffering the leg break on 6 August, and within a month he has stepped up his rehabilitation by training on exercise bikes.

Within two months, the Frenchman was able to train on a leg press machine and even managed to hold the weight alone on his injured leg, with Ait Said adding the caption: “What do you think of this my friends? Improving, no? Work hard or go home.”

Watch the original video below (Warning: Contains graphic content)...

Rio Olympics - French gymnast Samir Ait Said breaks leg during vault
Ait Said suffered a double compound leg fracture during Rio 2016
The 27-year-old has undergone extensive rehabilitation to strengthen his left leg
Ait Said's recovery has taken nine months since he suffered the injury

Ait Said returned to the Olympic rings inside three months of his injury where he got to grips with some of the apparatus that he had left behind in Rio, and a big step came on 1 March this year when the was able to complete his first forward jump off a trampoline and onto a crash mat.

Finally, during a training session last Friday – 286 days after breaking his leg at the Olympics – Ait Said completed his first front flip and double somersault, and looks to be on course to achieve his new target of competing at Tokyo 2020.

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