After winning the 2019 world championship in the heptathlon, British athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson had sights set on gold in Tokyo.
The gold won’t come this summer for Johnson-Thompson after she suffered an apparent Achilles injury during the 200m portion of the heptathlon, falling to the ground in agony midway through the race. Johnson-Thompson ruptured her Achilles at the end of 2020 and had been rehabbing in order to compete in Tokyo.
The injury couldn’t stop Johnson-Thompson from finishing the race, though. Officials tended to her on the ground, offering her a wheelchair to carry her off the track. Johnson-Thompson refused, instead choosing to finish out the race and hobbling across the finish line under her own power.
The heartbreaking scene turned inspirational as Johnson-Thompson ran away from the wheelchair and finished what she started.
She won’t be able to compete for gold in the remainder of the heptathlon, but this Olympic moment will stand as a true display of strength and courage.