As the lead runner for the U.S. 4 x 400-m relay team, Manteo Mitchell had three teammates counting on him to pass the baton with speed. That meant his broken leg had to wait. Halfway into his lap, Mitchell felt a searing pain. “It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half,” he later told the Associated Press. But he mustered all the adrenaline he could to finish his lap just 1.5 sec. behind the leader and passed the baton to his teammate. Later, after limping off the track and seeking medical attention, the 25-year-old sprinter found that he’d run the last 200 m with a broken left fibula. Gold medal for courage, anyone?
Olympic Injuries in Action: When Athletes Play Through Pain
From American Manteo Mitchell running with a broken leg to Germany's Matthias Steiner being felled by a falling weight, TIME looks at the Olympic competitors' most memorable injuries and mishaps.