A Russian gymnast won gold by sticking incredible landings just 3 months after surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon
David Belyavskiy, Artur Dalaloyan, Nikita Nagornyy and Denis Abliazin Team ROC react after winning gold in the men's team final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Center on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
The Russian gymnast Artur Dalaloyan landed in the all-around finals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Dalaloyan competes just three months after suffering an Achilles tendon injury that required surgery.
Achilles tendon injuries often take 8-10 months to fully recover.
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Artur Dalaloyan appears to be defying the laws of anatomy at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 25-year-old Russian gymnast helped lead the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to a gold medal in the men's tight team gymnastics final on Monday, and a devastating injury that typically incapacitates athletes for almost a year, couldn't stop him.
Dalaloyan is only three months away from a ruptured Achilles tendon that had to be operated on in April. However, he fought his way back from the injury in just three months, which was unheard of among athletes to win gold in Tokyo.
Denis Abliazin, David Belyavskiy, Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagornyy from Team ROC receive their gold medals from IOC member Emma Terho from Finland during the award ceremony after the men's team final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Center on July 26th July, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
"After being injured like this, I appreciate the work I've done even more," said Dalaloyan after the event. "Now I know that all the work wasn't in vain. This medal is absolutely priceless."
Dalaoyan suffered the injury while training for the European Championship in April and had to undergo an operation. Healing may only take six to eight weeks, but it takes additional time for muscles to regain their normal strength, according to patient.info. An operation only extends this waiting time.
It is also common for muscles to never fully return to their pre-injury shape.
In Dalaloyan's case, the injury was so severe that he initially planned not to go to the Tokyo Olympics shortly after his operation.
"I didn't plan to compete," said Dalaloyan after the first round on Saturday. "Then I had a meeting with the team and my coach. I felt the power and the power to compete and decided to compete."
Russian gymnastics officials insisted that Dalaloyan would join the team in Tokyo in May. Then, in June, he was back on the ground, competing in the Russian Cup, where he only competed four times and couldn't relegate, but it was the first step to one of the most unexpected gold medals at this year's Olympics.
Still, Dalaloyan wasn't entirely sure that he would even compete in the week leading up to this event.
Dalaloyan had no plans to land or jump, and after Wednesday's podium practice, he wasn't sure he would even compete.
But he appeared on Saturday for the opening round and got the fourth-best score with 85.957. After his performance, he was seen sobbing in his hands due to the emotional strain of the comeback.
Team ROC's Artur Dalaloyan competes on the pommel horse in the men's team final on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Center on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
"I couldn't control my emotions," he said after Saturday's performance. “I was kind of proud that I could do it, I could get to this point and do all of the exercises the way I really wanted to. The other part of me was disappointed in some ways because I understand that I couldn't do all of the exercises perfectly. "
Dalaloyan and his teammates then put on a historic performance in the final on Monday with a total of 262,500 points, beating China, which scored 261,894 points for the gold medal. It is the first gold medal that Russian gymnasts have won in a team competition in men's artistic gymnastics since 1996.
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