Fujimoto Fights the Pain

Shun Fujimoto won only one Olympic medal during his gymnastics career, but he continues to be a hero in Japan decades after he won the medal. Simply put, Japan would not have won the gold medal in the men's team competition in 1976 if Fujimoto had not demonstrated an unbelievable amount of courage as well as a tremendous commitment to his nation.

What did Fujimoto do? Unbelievably, he competed with a broken right kneecap. He sustained the injury during the floor exercise portion of the team competition, although he didn’t know what the injury precisely was because he didn’t tell anyone, not even a doctor. Despite severe pain, he scored a 9.5 on the pommel horse. Then, he scored a 9.7 on the rings, landing on the floor after a dismount that included a twisting triple somersault. His knee buckled as he landed. Then, he limped to pick up his gold medal at the podium after Japan edged the Soviet Union by 0.4 points.


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