In a feat of supernatural courage that could make even a virtual Greg Jennings jealous, U.S. 4x400m relay lead-off man Manteo Mitchell “put the team on his back” Thursday afternoon by finishing his split of the relay even though he broke his leg halfway through his run.
Considering what you or I might be able to do on a broken leg, which is limited to maybe breathing and sleeping (though the latter still might be difficult), what Mitchell did on his busted left fibula could go down as one of the greatest Olympic performances of all time.
It wasn’t just that he ran 200 meters on a broken leg. He heard and felt his leg break, which I can only imagine is one of the more terrifying things that can happen to a human. Then he finished his split in an otherworldly 45 seconds (he said he felt like he could go 44 seconds-low back when both of his legs worked).
Finally, his effort propelled the U.S. team to the event final Friday morning. That is an incredible alternative to Mitchell collapsing like when a normal person breaks their leg, leaving his teammates dead in the water. But by some act of God, Mitchell found it in himself to run roughly the length of two football fields on a broken leg.
Oh, and can I remind you that his freakin’ leg was broken? Amazing.
[USA Today, photo via Getty]