Manteo Mitchell looks good in this picture—8/9/2012

Another story of superhuman effort at the Olympics. It’s hard for me to imagine people tuning out the pain to this degree. Look back to the August 6th post to learn about Kerri Strug’s victorious vault. Humans can really be amazing. So I guess it’s easy enough for me to play tennis through a bit of a cramp. And I love the last line of this post. What planet is this guy living on?

LONDON – Move over, Kerri Strug. America has a new Olympian performing heroically on a broken leg.

Runner Manteo Mitchell said he “felt” and “heard” his fibula breaking midway through his lead-off leg of the 4×400-meter relay in qualifying heats. He kept running, going another 200 meters and handing off the baton to Joshua Mance. The U.S. went on to finish second in the heat, advancing to the final Friday night.

America would not have kept its medal hopes alive in the event without the effort of Mitchell. His injury was diagnosed after the race by team doctor Bob Adams: broken left fibula.

Mitchell (rt) finished his race with a broken leg—8/9/2012

“I knew if I finished strong we could still get it [the baton] around,” Mitchell said. “I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100-meter mark it felt weird,” Mitchell told USA Track and Field. “I was thinking I just didn’t feel right. As soon as I took the first step past the 200-meter mark, I felt it break. I heard it. I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear it. I wanted to just lie down. It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half. I saw Josh Mance motioning me in for me to hand it off to him, which lifted me. I didn’t want to let those three guys down, or the team down, so I just ran on it. It hurt so bad. I’m pretty amazed that I still split 45 seconds on a broken leg.”

Mitchell believes he initially injured the leg a few days ago in the Olympic Village when he slipped on a stairway. Mitchell says “I figured it’s what almost any person would’ve done in that situation.”