It's an exclusive club that no one wants to join: Athletes who've suffered gruesome injuries while the world is watching.
The group added a new member Saturday when French Olympic gymnast Samir Ait Said shattered his lower leg landing a vault in men's team qualifying. The snapping sound of his tibia was audible throughout the arena.
According to USA TODAY, another Olympian learned what happened and hopes to arrange a meeting with Said. That would be U.S. men's basketball player Paul George.
The Pacers forward knows what Said's going through perhaps better than anyone else in Rio. George suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula during a Team USA scrimmage ahead of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
He missed the entire 2014-15 NBA season recovering, but mounted an incredible comeback in 2015-16 that culminated with a third career All-Star selection and a playoff berth.
Now George is back competing with Team USA, this time representing his country in the Olympics. If anyone can inspire Said to keep fighting, it's George.
Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, whose career-ending leg fracture stands out as one of the most horrific injuries in sports history, also spoke in support of the French gymnast.
“Gosh, I feel for him so bad,’’ Theismann told USA TODAY. “It’s horrible. [My injury] was with a lot of people around. This young man was out on a stage by himself.’'
Said's accident came at a patricularly heart wrenching moment in the competition. He had qualified for the individual final in the rings, but will miss his chance to compete for a medal.
In a Facebook video posted Sunday morning, the 26-year-old assured fans that he would make a comeback for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.