“I want to thank you all for your messages of support, it really heartened me, it felt good, it really boosted my morale,” the gymnast said in a video posted after undergoing emergency surgery in Rio. Ait Said explained that the double open fracture of the tibia and fibula “required immediate surgery, which went very well. I can be back on my feet in not very long, well ‘on my feet’, everything is relative.” “I’m going to return to the venue to encourage my friends because the competition is not over,” he continued, referring to teammates Axel Augis and Cyril Tommasone who qualified for all-around and pommel horse finals respectively. “I’ve gotten into the spirit of things with my blue-white-red plaster, allez la France!” said Ait Said, showing his plastered foot in the French national colours. Gymnastics federation medical commission chief Dr. Michel Leglise said they expected the French gymnast to recover well. “Taking into account the type of injury and the quality and rapidity of the surgical treatment, we expect that he will recover well,” said Leglise. page“We are optimistic that he will be able to return to gymnastics in a reasonable amount of time.” Ait Said qualified for the rings final on his speciality apparatus before disaster struck and had been one of France’s leading medal hopes. But he vowed to pursue his dream to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in four years time after also being forced out of the London Games because of a knee injury. “Believe me the adventure of Tokyo-2020 is still alive and once I’m up on my feet again we’re going to continue training and go for this Olympic gold.” – ‘Extraordinary moment’ – “Everyone was a bit surprised by my reaction,” said Ait Said who was visited in hospital on Sunday by FIG president Bruno Grandi. “I didn’t scream, I just knew instantly that it was over.

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